Emergency preparedness, are you ready?

PHOTO: Samantha Zarek

Natural disasters and emergency situations can pop up at any time, so it's important to always be prepared. September is national preparedness month. Several types of severe weather could impact our region.

"Tornados or blizzards, power outages, massive storms with flooding..." these are some of the natural disasters that Bill Grennell of the Mountain Empire Red Cross says could impact our area.

Experts say an emergency kit in an essential for any home.

"You need to have some type of basic plan of what you're going to do. Do you have an emergency supply kit that has some basic needs for two or three days in case you're stranded at home with no power," says Jim Bean with Sullivan County Emergency Management.

One gallon of water, per person, per day, non-perishable food items, a can opener, extra clothing, blankets, battery powered radio, cell phone and charger; these are some of the essentials for your family.

"Not only your family, your immediate family, but do you have any pets, do you have food and water for your pets, do you have medications for you and your family members, cash on hand," Bean says.

The location of important paperwork should also be known at all times.

"Have your documents pulled together like your social security cards, deeds, things of great importance to you, so that you can gather them up and grab them quickly," Grennell says.

Your car should also be ready for an emergency situation.

"Sounds kind of silly, but have a candle because that can help provide warmth enough to keep you from freezing if it's during the winter. You should also have an emergency blanket, a first aid kit, flares or some kind of reflective device," Grennell says.