September is National Preparedness Month, a four-week observation to raise awareness of how important it is to prepare for and respond to all types of disasters.

Each September, everyone is encouraged to learn lifesaving skills like CPR and first aid, create emergency kits in case of disasters, and check insurance policies for common hazards.

A disaster or an emergency — like a winter storm, flood, tornado or fire — can leave households without electricity, heat and shelter. There is also a possibility that communication with police, fire or rescue personnel may not be immediately available.

This year’s theme is “Prepared, Not Scared,” and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) advises Hoosiers to ensure they are prepared for all types of disasters.

IDHS offers the following safety tips:

  • Be aware of disasters that could occur in the local area. Learn what to look for and what to avoid in each;
  • Discuss possible emergency scenarios with family members. Include events such as fires, natural disasters and man-made disasters. Make sure everyone in the family or workplace knows the steps involved in responding to each of these;
  • Establish meeting locations in the event of a potential disaster, and make sure all family members and employees are aware of them; and
  • Create a list of emergency contacts, and share it with family members and friends.

During National Preparedness Month, Hoosiers should make it a priority to create an emergency plan in their homes, businesses and schools. If a plan is already established, it’s crucial to ensure everyone in close proximity is informed of proper instructions in case of an emergency.

For more information, visit

As the summer comes to an end, please make sure you and your family are educated on ways to stay safe during severe weather. While we can’t always predict when a disaster might strike, preparation puts us in the best position possible to react in unforeseen dangerous situations.

What do you think?

DENNIS KRUSE, R-Auburn, represents northeast Indiana in the Indiana State Senate.

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