TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's National Preparedness Month - but do you know what you'd do in the case of a disaster or emergency?
Emergency preparedness organizations want you to turn awareness into action.
"It's that mindset, it won't happen to me, that we all have. You know, those disasters are bad but I'll be able to take care of myself,” said Nikki Wessley, Red Cross director.
Red Cross officials say it doesn't cost a lot to be prepared. But it could cost you everything if you're not.
"Having a preparedness kit is probably the most important thing whenever we come up in disaster season,” said Wessley.
Even Wessley learned a lot after starting with the Red Cross.
"I didn't know why it was important to have a preparedness kit. I never thought of that. I always thought, I have food in my cabinets, I'll be fine. Those kinds of things you don't think about until it's something you do on a daily basis, or unfortunately, until you need it,” said Wessley.
It's easy and inexpensive to have a plan in place. All your emergency items can fit inside a backpack.
Water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, extra batteries, a blanket, have enough of these items to last for at least 12 days.
"It may seem like something you have laying around the house, I know where that is in my house, I can go get it after a disaster. You may not know if it's a tornado, for instance, you may not know where anything is in your house after a disaster,” said Wessley.
Being prepared might help you stay calm during a disaster.
"The best way I feel like to prevent a disaster is to have is to have a preparedness kit, when you're ready for something, it's not an emergency,” said Wessley.
Comfort items are essential. Be sure to have a stockpile of special foods, favorite toys and games that can help keep children calm and entertained.
For family members that have a disability, be sure to have extra items like medicines or foods they need to help them in an emergency.
This year’s National Preparedness Month focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging all individuals and all communities nationwide to make an emergency preparedness plan. Preparedness information and events will be posted to http://community.fema.gov/connect.ti/READYNPM.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website.
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