WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – September is Emergency Preparedness Month across the United States. While emergency preparedness may sound obvious, it extends further than some might realize. Warren County is encouraging its residents to review ways to be ready for weather, fires, and whatever else may come their way.

The mantra for this year’s Emergency Preparedness Month is “A Lasting Legacy – the life you’ve built is worth protecting. Protect your family and your property from disasters.” For the county, that means emphasizing pre-planning for protecting homes, and the families within them.

“Preparing a plan ahead of time can lessen the impact of a natural or man-made disaster,” said Warren County Emergency Services Director Ann Marie Mason. “It will lead to less stress and confusion for everyone. We ask that you please take time to make a plan, and have your family practice how to implement it.”

One of the simplest things residents can do is sign up for NY Alert, a program which sends out emergency alerts by text and other methods. The county also sent out a list of things residents should to in order to stay prepared for any natural disaster:

  • Determining where to evacuate should you have to leave your home
  • Designating a meeting place and a location to seek shelter
  • Putting together an emergency kit that includes water, non-perishable food, medications, first aid kit, flashlight, maps, basic tools, dust mask, battery-powered radio, a rechargeable battery for a cellphone, personal wipes and garbage bags
  • Storing your emergency kit items in a “go bag” that can be grabbed at a moment’s notice
  • Keeping pets in mind, set aside food and medications they may need if you have to leave home quickly
  • Educating yourself about risks, and preparing the area around your home for bad weather
  • Trim tree branches, maintain home gutters and identify other possible threats to your home during wind or heavy rain
  • Preparing your vehicle with basic equipment for winter weather, such as a snow shovel, extra clothes and blankets

“Emergency services is a vital part of every community, and pre-planning is something everyone should do. The first step to protecting your life and those of your loved ones is to have a plan that focuses on how to react to different scenarios. It is important for residents to be prepared for emergencies such as fires or severe weather so they can react accordingly if disaster strikes,” said Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty.