REED CITY — September is National Preparedness Month and the Central Michigan District Health Department (MCDHD) says there are steps families and communities can take in an event of an emergency.

Recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready campaign and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s PrepreAthon, the steps encourage Americans to prepare for specific hazards through group discussions, drills and exercises.

The recommended steps are:

  • STAY INFORMED: Many websites offer information on local hazards and across the United States. Knowing what can happen in your community helps with planning. Those websites include, the Ready Campaign (ready.gov), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (community.fema.gov) and CMDHD (cmdhd.org). Residents can sign up for emergency alerts their local emergency management office.
  • MAKE A PLAN: What is your family emergency plan? Do you have enough items to last for three days without power, if necessary? Residents are encouraged to plan for both those with special needs, as well as their pets. A few simple steps each month will help create a plan by the end of one year.BUILD A KIT: An emergency supply kit should be stocked with enough items to last for three days. Items inside the kit may include, a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery powered radio and extra batters, a first aid kit, a map of the area that indicates roadways and rivers, a compass, a whistle to signal for help, cash (ATM and banks may not work), a utility knife (no exposed blades), matches in a waterproof container, a change of clothes for each person, a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person, food (canned food and a can opener, dry food that will not expire), a gallon of water per person for each day, pet food, prescription medications, copies of birth certificates, passports, licenses and wills and a list of phone numbers of relatives or emergency contacts. It is suggested to have an emergency supply kit for your house and one for your place of business.
  • GET INVOLVED: Become involved in local efforts by becoming a member of the Citizens Corp (citizenscorps.gov). Residents also can become a registered volunteer through the Michigan Volunteer Register (mivolunteerregistry.org). Organizations such as these provide opportunities to participate in drills, trainings and exercises.