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Be Ready this National Preparedness Month 

September is National Preparedness Month, a full month dedicated to encouraging the public to assess and prepare for local disaster risks and unplanned emergencies. The National Household Survey (NHS) conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that a growing number of people invest in disaster preparation activities. Approximately 59 percent of adults have pursued at least one-fourth of FEMA’s basic preparedness actions, and 44 percent of adults have set aside funds in preparation for an emergency. Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges families to prepare for the unexpected and by implementing an emergency preparedness plan.

“A solid emergency plan can give you peace of mind and a greater sense of security,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB in Central East Texas said. “When disaster strikes, you can take actions based on logic even in an emotional situation.”

The following are FEMA’s 12 Ways to Prepare before a disaster occurs:

  1. Sign up for alerts and warnings
  2. Make a plan
  3. Save for a Rainy Day
  4. Practice Emergency Drills
  5. Test Family Communication Plan
  6. Safeguard Documents
  7. Plan with Neighbors
  8. Make your Home Safer
  9. Know Evacuation Routes
  10. Assemble or Update Supplies
  11. Get Involved in your Community
  12. Document and Insure Property

Start by making an emergency plan with everyone in the home. Discuss how you will receive emergency alerts and warnings, what your shelter plan is, your evacuation route and the household communication plan. Practice your escape plan with your family, including pets, at least twice a year so you are fully prepared when disaster strikes. Prepare a basic disaster supplies kit. Families may also want to consider including such items as prescription medications, infant formula and diapers, pet food and cash. Remember to check your supplies every few months and replace expired items. It’s also a good idea for at least one family member to know how to perform first aid and CPR.

Another step you can take is to know who to call after disaster strikes so that you and your family may recover quickly. As part of the vetting process for BBB Accreditation, BBB ensures all businesses who earn the BBB seal maintain the licensing requirements for that industry and provides the following guide to help you find businesses you can trust: 

Insurance companies near me
Water damage companies near me
Roofing contractors near me
Plumbers near me
Electricians near me
Heating and air conditioning companies near me
Remodeling companies near me
Tree Service companies near me
Foundation Repair companies near me
Waste management companies near me

For more information on how to prepare before and react to a disaster, go to  and  Please report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices to BBB Scam Tracker. Remember, great businesses are out there. Always look for the BBB seal; it’s the Sign of a Better BusinessSM . Start with companies you can trust by going to


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