Special to the Log Cabin

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to encourage families and communities to make an emergency preparedness plan. Arkansans should be prepared for emergencies like flooding, tornadoes, straight-line winds and earthquakes. A recent survey conducted by FEMA determined that less than half of Americans have discussed or developed an emergency plan with their household.

"National Preparedness Month is a great time for families to prepare for an emergency," said A.J. Gary, Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. "Plan now how you will communicate with separated family members and how you will care for those family members who are children, older adults and those with disabilities when an emergency occurs."

This year’s theme is, "Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today."

Personal preparedness kits are one of many ways an individual or family can plan for a disaster. Items that should be assembled for a basic emergency preparedness kit include:

• Drinking water (1 gallon per person per day)

• Non-perishable food items

• A First Aid Kit

• Blankets

• Flashlight with extra batteries

• Personal toiletries and prescription medication

• Complete change of clothes and shoes

Complete lists and detailed ideas for preparedness kits can be found at www.ready.gov/prepare. Kits should be tailored to specific needs and kept in an easily accessible place at home and in the car.

FEMA encourages individuals, families, organizations and workplaces to take part in National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30, 2016.

National PrepareAthon Day culminates National Preparedness Month by encouraging people to test the preparedness plan they have developed and kick off a year of preparedness activities.

In addition to having a personal preparedness kit, Arkansans can create and test emergency communications plans, participate in a preparedness class, collect critical documents and store them where they are accessible during an emergency, and participate in community preparedness events to be most prepared for a disaster.

Visit www.adem.arkansas.gov for more planning and preparedness tips.