Don’t wait, communicate: Make your emergency plan today

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North Texans don't need to be reminded that natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time of the year, or any time of the day or night. That's one of the reasons why this September's National Preparedness Month has taken on particular significance.

Collin County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim McCrone says that "we only have to look at events in the recent past to appreciate the importance of everyone taking disaster preparedness seriously."

In his preparedness month declaration, Texas Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed that "Preparedness responsibilities are shared by all Texans."  None of us can underestimate the importance and value of developing and "practic[ing] emergency plans that include a communications strategy and meeting locations." Everyone should build a three-day disaster preparedness kit for homes and vehicles, the governor added.   

"It is very important for our residents to know what to do when natural, or man-made crises occur," McCrone says. "We should also be prepared to help our friends and neighbors that may have some measure of functional needs."

Floods, damaging winds, and power outages pose tremendous challenges to people with special needs like, oxygen, dialysis, or other life-sustaining support.  "And we should also remember," McCrone adds, "that children, family pets, and seniors, are particularly susceptible to dangers that accompany exposure to extreme weather."

Each week this September, leading up to National PrepareAthon Day on Sept. 30, different preparedness themes will be highlighted to lead Texans and Americans to develop key elements in their readiness plans, supplies, and service.

Week 1:  Sept. 4-10 Preparing Family & Friends
Week 2:  Sept. 11-17 Preparing Through Service
Week 3:  Sept. 18-24 Individual Preparedness
Week 4:  Sept. 25-30 Lead up to National PrepareAthon Day

For more information about Preparedness Month, visit any of the following websites:  First, Collin County's Preparedness page offers community members a broad range of local information and advisories.  Second, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hosts, and the State of Texas provides excellent resources at its Division of Emergency Management.