Greensboro, NC -- If a storm came through and knocked out power for days or your house caught fire in the middle of the night, do you have a plan in place to protect your family?
That's the question emergency management workers, all over the country, want you to ask yourself this month and, actually, everyday.
It's National Preparedness Month and a coalition of emergency management personnel is stressing the fact that you need to be ready at all times to survive an emergency.
"We don't want to scare anyone but the best thing about having an emergency preparedness plan and a kit is that you have that security blanket, that you don't necessarily want to use but you have it in your back pocket or whenever you need it," explained Melanie McDounough, the communications director for the Red Cross office in Greensboro.
According to McDounough, there are several things you need to have in an emergency kit when the unexpected happens:
At least three days of water for each family member. That's about a gallon, per person, per day.
You need non-perishable foods like nuts, granola bars and canned soups.
Also, include a blanket, first aid kit, flashlight and batteries.
McDonough says sometiems people forget to add cash, which can come in handy in case the banks are closed and ATMs are out of service.
Also, in case of fires, have an escape plan and a meeting place. It's recommended you practice that plan just as often as you'd change your smoke-alarm batteries.
"I think the advantage is that you know, and you can keep your family safe," said McDonough.
National Preparedness Month was created in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
You can learn more about protecting your family by clicking the links below:
FEMA National Preparedness Coalition:
This page has general emergency information, tips about making a plan, building a kit and getting involved in your community to help others. There is also a games section for young children.
ReadyGuilford.com is a the Guilford County emergency management page. You can sign-up for emergency alerts in your community if you live within the county.
WFMY News 2