National Preparedness Month - What's Your Plan? - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

National Preparedness Month - What's Your Plan?

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -- For many, it's hard to imagine life without cell phones, clean water or electricity. But in an emergency, all that can be gone in the blink of an eye.

"You never know when a disaster or an emergency is going to hit," said Lt. Bruce Odom of the Lansing Fire Department. "You could be at school or you could be at work."

To grow awareness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, made September National Preparedness Month. For the past nine years, they've been working to get the word out in response to Sept. 11.

Despite the effort, the Ad Council's latest report shows nearly 40% of people have yet to prepare for an emergency.

"I know they read about it and think, that's a great thing to do, I'll add that to my to-do list, but it never gets done," said Alison Bono, the Regional Director of Communications at the Red Cross.

While getting everything prepared may seem a little overwhelming, there's an organization that simplifies it. It's called Do 1 Thing. It breaks up the big job of becoming prepared into 12 smaller, monthly topics.

"You can just go down the checklist and what they will actually do is send you a list for free," said Odom.

The now national non-profit organization originated in Lansing. It focuses on building stronger communities by making sure everyone is ready.

Each month it covers different topics. June addresses unique family needs, like kids, pets and medical conditions. July focuses on communication and November prepares emergency supplies.

"Having a stock of water, having blankets, towels, various medical equipment and also the different types of things can be on your shelf-stable food supply," said Angela Minicuci, the Public Information Officer at the Michigan Department of Community Health.

However, once you fix your emergency supply kit, don't forget to update it.

"The kit is not a static kit that you pack and you're ready. You have to keep checking it and checking the batteries and checking the water," Bono said.

For more information, visit the listed organization's websites:

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