ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Each September, the nation recognizes National Preparedness Month to promote family and community disaster planning throughout the year.As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved this September.The 2020 NPM theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”Every year, our nation experiences natural disasters, such as tornados, hurricanes, floods, lightning, thunderstorms and winter weather.In addition to that, you may personally experience disasters like house fires and power outages.Don’t wait, please act now, so you and your family will know what to do in the event of a disaster.Taking time to prepare can spare you a lot of grief and worry later.1. Make A PlanTalk to your family members and friends about how you will communicate before, during and after a disaster.Know how you will evacuate your residence and where you will meet to account for everyone after a disaster.Consider where you will keep you pets. Most disaster shelters do not allow pets, only service animals.2. Build A KitGather supplies – enough to last for several days (at least 3) after a disaster for everyone living in your home.Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available) and two masks for each person.Rescue and emergency personnel may not be able to get to you or you may be stranded for several days, due to flooding, down power lines or damaged roads.Don’t forget to consider the unique needs of each person (such as medicines and other medical supplies for family members with special needs)3. Be InformedKnow the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage.Know the local warning methods, such as giant voice, desktop alerts or all user emails.Wireless Emergency Alerts are used by National Weather Service, Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the President.• Check with your cell phone service provider• No need to subscribe, no chargeTo receive weather alerts on your cell phones, sign up at or text CALHOUNEMA to 888777.To search for open shelters, text SHELTER and Zip Code to 43362. Ex: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply).Post important phone numbers on your refrigerator or a note board. These important numbers may include local police, fire department, emergency medical services and hospitals.Sign up for the Army Disaster Personnel Accounting & Assessment System at Teach Youth About PreparednessTalk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated.Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved. Visit for more information.