Disasters don't wait – make your plan today Published Sept. 16, 2020 By Shane MacDonald 340th Flying Training Group Emergency Management JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- A natural disaster can occur at any time. Some disasters give a warning, such as a storm preceding a flood. Others, such as earthquakes, give little or no warning. But, once a disaster happens, the time to prepare is gone. The best way to cope with a natural disaster is to have a plan before it strikes. September, National Preparedness Month, is a great time to encourage and remind you to be prepared for disasters or emergencies now and throughout the year. The 2020 NPM theme is "Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today." Whether a smaller impact event, such as a storm affecting a single suburb, to large-scale events, like hurricanes that can affect whole cities or states, taking steps to prepare for a disaster can help you get back to normal faster. If you are unprepared, the devastation and financial loss caused by natural disasters can be magnified. Given how unpredictable nature can be, it’s a good idea to take measures to reduce your risks, protect your home and keep your family safe. Disaster preparation can be generic but some families have specific considerations. For example, people who own one or more pets need to consider different measures. I have multiple pets so my preparation list would include: Pet food (enough for three or four days) Water Collars, harnesses, dog tags, leashes Portable kennel Toys/treats Picture of pet(s) Vaccination/medical/adoption/registration records and/or paperwork Cat litter/litter box Portable cage/aquarium/heat lamps as applicable for smaller pets Microchipping records (if your pets aren't microchipped, consult your veterinarian) Veterinarian’s contact information Trash bags or reusable plastic grocery bags for pet waste disposal Cleaning wipes People often feel helpless against destructive weather and other natural disasters but there are measures you can take to reduce your risks, protect your home and keep your family safe. Go to https://www.ready.gov/kit to learn some simple steps you can take to keep you and your family safe and lower the risk of your home and other assets being damaged. In many instances, preparing against one threat can protect you from others as well.