This weekend has been a worrisome one for me. Hurricane Irene, while not dropping a single drop of rain or bringing a gust of wind to Middle Georgia, has threatened the homes and lives of most of my immediate family. My mother had to evacuate her waterfront home and while her abode is okay, the home of some dear family friends just 3 blocks away was hit by a hurricane-spawned tornado and has suffered major, possibly irreparable damage.

As many people up and down the East Coast have had to contend with TWO natural disasters this week, first a rare earthquake and now a hurricane, it brings to the forefront of all our minds the importance of emergency preparedness. When people think of preparing for a natural disaster, thoughts turn to milk and bread from the store, water in the tub and porch furniture secured. Yes, these are important steps but consider what else needs to be taken into account. What about your important documents (deeds, birth certificates), account numbers (insurance, banking) and precious heirlooms (pictures, baby shoes)?

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Over the next month I plan to read Judith Kolberg’s Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster. I will be sharing ideas and resources for you to get your family and home more prepared in the face of a disaster. Too late, I know, for preparing for Hurricane Irene but we can all be a little more prepared for the next big (or small) one.

How do you get ready for an impending disaster (ice storm, hurricane)? How do you react when a sudden disaster (earthquake, tornado) hit? Please share your ideas and experiences.

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