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Disasters Happen. Prepare Now – Learn How

National Preparedness Month Launches September 1. September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V office in Chicago encourages everyone to take time out of their busy schedules this month to prepare for the unexpected. 

“Start by prioritizing life safety skills, make sure everyone in your family knows CPR and first aid, as well as practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas in your home,” said James K. Joseph, regional administrator, FEMA Region V. “Take the time to review existing insurance policies and ensure the amount and extent are adequate to cover losses from any possible hazard you may face.”

Severe weather and other emergencies can strike with little or no warning and can have disastrous impacts. Already this year, the Midwest has experienced several waves of destructive storms and flooding. Whether at home or on the go, be aware of emergency plans in place wherever your family spends their time: work, daycare and school, houses of worship, sports events and commuting. Be disaster ready, wherever you may be.

It’s simple to start planning for emergencies: download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids on and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends. 

Throughout the month, FEMA will offer tips to help you be better prepared, including steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Follow FEMA Region V online at and, to receive the latest preparedness updates.  

For detailed information about how to be ready for the emergencies you may be at risk for, including a list of items you will want to have in your emergency kit, visit or our Spanish site at  You can also learn more about National Preparedness Month by visiting

FEMA’s mission is assist people before, during and after disasters.

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