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    September is National Preparedness Month. When you live in a state like Texas -- which experiences flash flooding, tornadoes and the occasional hurricane -- it behooves all of us to have some measures in place to protect ourselves, our families and our businesses.

    One of those measures is having a place for you and your family to go, should you have to evacuate during an emergency. If nearby relatives or friends aren't an option, emergency shelters are a safe bet. The local media will usually announce the locations of those shelters.

    Also important to keep ready is a backpack, duffle bag or "bug out" kit, as they are sometimes called, with 24 to 72 hours’ worth of essentials you will need, should you have to leave your home right away. Everyone in your household - including your pets - should have such a kit. Here are more details about that.

    And if you have a business, there are preparations you can make to help your business quickly recover after a disaster.

    Our Public Health Preparedness web page has lots of information about all this.

    Sadly, emergencies and disasters happen. But what you can do right now to prepare for them will make a positive difference in how well you, your family and your business bounce back afterward.

    If you're the kind of person that wants to help, we offer free training and opportunities to help our communities recover from disasters.

    Stay safe!

    Sincerely,

    Veerinder (Vinny) Taneja

    Tarrant County Public Health Director