LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - We never know when disaster will strike, but when it does are you ready?
September is National Preparedness Month, a reminder for residents to be prepared for the "what ifs."
"We have a number of hazards we face here including severe weather. We want people to be aware of how to get information most importantly, then what to do with that information once they seek it," explains Chris Tate of the Lee County Emergency Management Agency.
First, make a plan.
Include a list of family meeting places, emergency contacts, and a plan for pets.
Also, make a kit full of non perishable food items, one gallon of water per person for multiple days, flashlights, batteries and a weather radio.
"We want people to have supplies for up to three days, food, water medicine, not only for yourself, but for your pets," says Tate.
Being prepared also means staying informed.
Along with television and radio, keep up with various social media outlets, as well as Smart phone apps, for information like open shelters and evacuation orders.
The Lee County EMA is also offering CERT this month.
The Community Emergency Response Teams program is a ten week course designed to train citizens on how they can best survive until emergency services can arrive.
"We talk about fire safety and repression, disaster emergency operations, terrorism and how we appropriately respond should one happen in our community and disaster psychology, how to help other people who have been through disasters," explains Tate.
CERT is offered many times a year, and costs ten dollars per person.
The current course will last until November 4 and anyone is welcomed.
Certified CERT members have been utilized to assist in the aftermath of tornadoes, missing persons searches, and other emergency and non-emergency needs from our first responders and community members.