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Each September, Americans are encouraged to make sure they are prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. National Preparedness Month was created in response to the attacks of 9/11.

Iowans are urged to take the necessary steps to be prepared for all emergencies and disasters - both natural and man-made.

Being prepared means:

Families and individuals have an emergency supply kit so they can be self-reliant for at least three days in an emergency, and they have a plan for how they will respond and reconnect with other family members after an emergency;

Employers and business groups need to plan for how they will survive a disaster, back up critical information, develop a plan for assisting employees on site, establish a call tree to account for employees, and identify back-up sources of power and supplies;

Schools need to develop, implement, and communicate a crisis plan. See the U.S. Department of Education's Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center; and

EVERYONE needs to stay informed, understand the specific risks in your community and how to prepare for them, and know how to get information and alerts from local, state, tribal and territorial emergency management agencies.

Disasters and emergencies of all kinds can strike anywhere at any time. Investing in the preparedness of ourselves, our families, our businesses and our schools can reduce fatalities and economic devastation in our communities, our state and our nation.

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