FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Sept. 10, 2015) -- September is National Preparedness Month. Fort Leonard Wood recognizes the month as a time to plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect a community.

The month culminates in America's PrepareAthon! and National Day of Action, Sept. 30.

In its 12th year, National Preparedness Month is hosted by the Ready Army, Ready Campaign, Citizen Corps and many local agencies.

The goal is to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare for emergencies. Take action now -- make a plan with your community, your Family and for your pets. The campaign makes us all more resilient during an emergency.

For example, consider if power goes out for three days and there is no access to fresh water; no access to a supermarket or other local services. There may also be no response from police, fire or medical or, at the very least, services will be delayed.

Preparing for these types of emergencies or disaster is easy if you break it down into four very simple steps:

Build a kit
A disaster supply kit is a simple collection of basic items your household will need in the event of an emergency or disaster. That kit should be assembled well in advance of an emergency, just in case you have to evacuate at a moment's notice and take essentials with you. The essentials should include food, water and other personal supplies you would need to survive for at least 72 hours.

Make a plan
You and your loved ones may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you get to a safe place? How would you be able to contact one another? If you take a look at the website Ready.gov they have made it simple to make a Family emergency plan.

Be informed
Emergency preparedness is for all of us, not just those who live in hurricane areas or in tornado alley. If you are informed, you will know what to do before, during and after an emergency or disaster. The basic protective actions are a lot the same no matter what the hazard. If you travel like many Americans do, you could be in a hurricane area at some time in your life. So be informed and know about the hazards you may encounter.

Get involved
In all major disasters, we, as Americans, all come together and offer our help whether we are on scene or sending financial support -- we do support those in need. We also get involved in many ways, such as volunteering for different programs. The local area has many different volunteer possibilities, such as getting trained with a Community Emergency Response Team.

Preparedness is a large responsibility, but it is a shared responsibility; it takes each and every one of us, along with the entire community, county and state.

This year, during National Preparedness Month, turn awareness into action, by making a preparedness plan. For more information, call 573.563.7909.

(Editor's note: Carney is an Emergency Management specialist at Fort Leonard Wood.)