By the Central Michigan District Health Department OSCEOLA COUNTY\u00a0\u2014 It's always a good idea to prepare for an emergency. Four simple steps, recommended by the Ready campaign, can help you, your family and your\u00a0community in the event of an emergency. America\u2019s PrepareAthonTM, builds upon this campaign,\u00a0encouraging Americans to prepare for specific hazards through group discussions, drills and\u00a0exercises. Stay Informed: Many websites offer information on local hazards here in Michigan and\u00a0across the United States. Helpful websites include: Ready Campaign (ready.gov), The\u00a0Michigan Department of Health and Human Services preparedness site\u00a0(michigan.gov\/michiganprepares), American Red Cross (redcross.org), FEMA\u00a0(community.fema.gov), and Central Michigan District Health Department (cmdhd.org).\u00a0Sign up for emergency alerts through your local Emergency Management office. Make a Plan: What is your family emergency plan? Do you have enough items to last for three\u00a0days without power, if necessary? Remember to plan for both your pets and those with special\u00a0medical needs. Businesses also should have a plan. Have you practiced any drills in the last year\u00a0both at home and at work? The \u201cDo 1 Thing\u201d campaign (do1thing.com) is a wonderful\u00a0resource for individuals and businesses. Following just a few simple steps each month will help\u00a0create a plan by the end of one year. Build a Kit: When creating an emergency supply kit, begin by stocking enough items in\u00a0your kit to last for three days. Items to place in your emergency supply kit may include: a flashlight and\u00a0extra batteries, a battery powered radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a map of the area that\u00a0indicates roadways and rivers, which may aid in evacuation, a compass, a whistle to signal for help,\u00a0cash (ATM and banks may not work), a utility knife (no exposed blades), matches in a waterproof\u00a0container, a change of clothes for each person, a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person, food\u00a0(canned food and a can opener, dry food that will not expire), a gallon of water per person per day,\u00a0pet food, prescription medications, copies of birth certificates, passports, licenses, wills and a\u00a0list of phone numbers of relatives or emergency contacts. It is suggested that you create an\u00a0emergency supply kit for your house, one that you can easily take with you if you have to evacuate\u00a0and go to a shelter or a safe location; and one for your place of business. Get Involved: Being involved is the last step to being prepared. Become involved in local\u00a0efforts in your community by becoming a member of your local Citizens Corps\u00a0(citizencorps.gov). In Michigan, you can also become a registered volunteer through the\u00a0Michigan Volunteer Registry (mivolunteerregistry.org.). Organizations such as these provide\u00a0opportunities to participate in drills, trainings and exercises.