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      September is Preparedness Month

      Disasters can strike at any time and being prepared is a familyâ??s best defense.

      September is National Preparedness Month. The American Red Cross says making a plan is an important step in making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.

      Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can't go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach each other.

      â??On the Red Cross website there is an excellent interactive tool that you can go on and put your family information in; number of adults, number of children, pets, whether there is medicine included. You build that kit and the software actually builds it for you and will email to you what is needed,â?? American Red Cross Disaster Coordinator Lisa Lene said.

      The website also includes disaster plan guides, smart phone applications and tutorials to teach people to be ready for any emergency.

      No one can predict where or when disaster will strike, but preparedness steps taken today can save lives tomorrow. Lene says everyone must be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors in the event of an emergency.

      Other Ways to Get Ready

      The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.

      â?¢ Be Red Cross Ready is an online tutorial that teaches people to be ready for emergencies.

      â?¢ Red Cross Ready Ratingâ?¢ is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.

      â?¢ The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.

      â?¢ Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.