September is National Preparedness Month!

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September is National Preparedness Month. The recent earthquake in Napa, coupled with our extreme wildfire danger, are reminders that we need to be prepared. Every week in September we will have a different focus on preparedness. This week is about you and your family. Have you thought about what would happen if your family was separated after a disaster? Where will you meet? What if your neighborhood is being evacuated? Are you prepared to leave quickly? It’s important to make a plan now so that you and your family know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency.

Make a Family Plan

The first step is to make a family plan. You can read about building a kit, an evacuation backpack, storing water at Make sure each member of the family has filled out the family emergency communication plan contact cards, downloadable from

About the Family Plan Contact Card

Your Family Plan should include contact cards for each member. We are all dependent on our cell phone address books but what if you don’t have your cell phone with you, or it ran out of battery power. Having numbers written down could be critical. Also, if you are injured, first responders can notify your family.

It is important to identify an out-of-town contact. Sometimes you can call out-of-area even when local phone calls don’t go through. This contact can collect information on the family’s location and status and pass it along.

If you have a cell phone, program your out-of-town contact, in addition to family members, as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings to contact someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.

Know How to Text

Teach family members how to use text. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

Register Your Phone for Emergency Alerts

Marin County has a phone alert system available that will send phone calls and text message alerts in the event of a disaster or evacuation.

Go to to register ALL the cell and work phone numbers in your household. If you have a home phone (digital or landline), your number is automatically included in this emergency system.

It’s time to get prepared!

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