National Preparedness Month: What you Need to Know to Prepare for Any Disaster

As Tropical Storm Gordon prepares to make landfall and Hurricane Florence strengthens and spins toward the East Coast, it’s a fitting time to revisit your family’s preparedness plans. In fact, September is National Preparedness Month, a time set aside to remind us of our need to prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year.

Natural disasters have become a frequent and destructive reality for millions of people across the country. We’ve seen devasting hurricanes make landfall the past several years, and in fact have deployed disaster teams from Charlotte the past two years, for Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Irma (2017).

To help you better prepare, here are some need-to-know safety tips and tools for any type of disaster:

  • Create a family emergency plan that includes a list of helpful organizations such as those that can provide shelter and food, and practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
  • Prepare emergency supply kits that include items such as flashlights with extra batteries, matches, a power pack to charge your phone, a dust mask and gloves.
  • Learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid.
  • Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face in your area.
  • Connect with an existing agency engaged in disaster response and relief, like The Salvation Army, or see if your area supports a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

To find out how you, your family and your community can prepare for disasters all year long, visit

If you have interest in becoming a disaster volunteer, and you are also able to commit to deployments of up to two weeks at a time, sign up to join our disaster team by contacting Sarah Gamble at

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