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September is National Preparedness Month

City of Woodstock urges all citizens and businesses to make or update a disaster plan during the month of September. As we continue to respond to COVID-19, there’s no time like the present to update your plan. You can find resources to help at Ready.gov. The Department of Homeland Security suggests weekly activities to do during this month, so that you are ready for whatever comes.

Week 1: September 1-5
Make a plan for your household by discussing how you will receive emergency alerts, what you will do to shelter in place and evacuate (if necessary), how you will communicate with loved ones, and what you need for an emergency preparedness kit.  

The Ready.gov National Preparedness Month webpage has a link to a very thorough template. You can complete that document and make copies to keep in cars, purses, or backpacks, so each member of your household can refer to it in the event of an emergency.

Week 2: September 6-12
Take time to build your emergency supply kit. Gather what you will need to stay at home or evacuate to a safer location. Ready.gov lists basic recommended items you will need such as one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days (for drinking and hygiene) as well as a three-day supply of food. Don’t forget your pet’s need for food and water.

Other recommended items include first aid kits, dust masks, plastic sheeting, and duct tape. The website suggests that you keep important family documents like insurance policies, identification, and bank records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.

Week 3: September 13-19
Limit the impact a disaster may have on your household. Think about the potential for major storm damage. Check to ensure your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers all of your needs.

Be sure you are signed up to receive emergency alerts. If you click “STAY CONNECTED” on WoodstockGa.gov, you will find a link to sign up for the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office updates through CodeRED.

Week 4: September 20-26
Teach your children about preparedness. Ready.gov offers resources for kids, teens, families, and educators, including information on coping when disaster strikes as well as financial preparedness. Resources are also available in Spanish.

Additionally, Woodstock Fire & Rescue recommends that you take time this month to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Having multiple smoke detectors in your home may reduce the time it takes for
smoke to activate the alarm. The fire department also recommends that you inspect your fire extinguishers. Be sure they are visible, unobstructed, and have no signs of damage, corrosion, or leakage.

Finally, take time to learn more from the American Red Cross at RedCross.org. The website contains valuable information about emergency preparedness as well as how to get involved as a volunteer. You can also purchase emergency gear/supplies and first aid kits through the online store.

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