Take important steps to always be prepared

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Four simple steps, recommended by the Ready Campaign, can help you, your family and your community in the event of an emergency.

Stay Informed: Many websites offer information on a wide variety of topics surrounding emergencies and disasters. Helpful websites include: Ready Campaign, The Michigan Department of Community Health preparedness site, American Red Cross, FEMA and Central Michigan District Health Department. Sign up for local emergency alerts through Emergency Management and text PREPARE to 43362 to receive monthly preparedness tips.

Make a Plan: What is your family emergency plan? Have enough items to last for three days without power, if necessary. Plan for your pets and those with special medical needs. Businesses should also have a plan. Have you practiced any drills in the last year both at home and at work?

Build a Kit: When creating an emergency supply kit, begin by stocking enough items in your kit to last for three days. Items to place in your emergency supply kit may include a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery powered radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a map of the area that indicates roadways and rivers, a compass, a whistle to signal for help, cash, a utility knife, 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 per 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 that you create an emergency supply kit for your house, one that you can easily take with you if you have to evacuate and 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 efforts in your community by becoming a member of your local Citizens Corps. In Michigan, you can also become a registered volunteer through the Michigan Volunteer Registry.