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September is National Preparedness Month

September 2015 marks the 12th annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Charlottesville-UVA- Albemarle Office of Emergency Management encourages citizens to take action during the month of September to become prepared for emergencies and disasters. Being prepared includes creating an emergency kit, developing and practicing a family emergency plan, and becoming involved in local disaster volunteer groups.

The first step is to build an emergency kit for your home, vehicle, and workplace. If disaster strikes, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. Now is the time to create an emergency kit to hold you over for up to 72 hours after an emergency. When building an emergency kit remember kids and seniors in your care and your pets. This is also a great time to remind yourself where and how to turn off your utilities (gas, water, and electricity). Visit to learn more on how to build an emergency kit.

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Know what types of emergencies are likely in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area and the best way to respond. Discuss with your family and friends how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do in different situations. Complete a contact card for each family member and have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or backpack. Also, have all family members subscribe to the Community Emergency Alert System at or by calling (434) 971-1263 or (434) 970-1798.

National Preparedness Month is the time to get involved! The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will host their fall training class on Thursday evenings beginning September 10th. Sign up for this free training to learn basic emergency actions to take care of yourself and others during an emergency. For more information, visit To register for the fall CERT course email or call (434) 971-1263.

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