September is National Preparedness Month and Cobb & Douglas Public Health is urging the community to take time to prepare for an unexpected emergency. Emergencies can happen at any time, in any community. Hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, flash floods, historic earthquakes, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities can affect millions of people for days at a time.

One of National Preparedness Month’s key messages is the importance of knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency.  This is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

Preparing starts with these four important steps: 

1. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.

2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do. 

3. Build an emergency supply kit. Don’t wait for an emergency. Buy preparedness items throughout the year instead of all at once. 

4. Get involved. There are many ways to get involved, especially before a disaster occurs. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes, and communities safer from risks and threats.

For more information about National Preparedness Month and for help getting prepared, visit or call 1-800-BE-READY for more information.