WIESBADEN, Germany - Would you know what to do in an emergency' Does your family have a plan for how to communicate and react in the event of a catastrophe, natural disaster or some other unforeseen occurrence' A,A Members of the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security are reminding people during September - National Preparedness Month - that having a basic home emergency kit, making a plan and being informed are vitally important in being ready to deal with any situation that might arise. A,A "When an emergency happens, first responders and emergency services will be busy responding in the first 72 hours," said Robert Thomas, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives operations specialist with USAG Wiesbaden's DPTMS. A,A In the case of an earthquake, terrorist attack or other emergency situation, individuals and families should be prepared to take care of themselves in the hours immediately following the event, he said. That means having adequate food, water, medical supplies, flashlights and batteries; knowing how to gather vital documents quickly; knowing where to seek shelter and how to stay in touch. A,A "They should be thinking about how to ensure the safety of themselves and their family members," Thomas said. That includes knowing how to react, how to stay informed - "basically saving themselves and their family members." A,A As part of National Preparedness Month, officials are providing helpful materials at different community locations and detailing the steps people can take to be prepared. Among readiness tools are building a basic home emergency kit with food, water and medical supplies; flashlight, radio and batteries; maps, plans, cash and personal documents; and knowing how to use the kit. Individuals should also prepare emergency kits for their vehicles and workplaces. A,A Thomas said that these kits should be checked and updated periodically. A,A Having a family emergency plan is also important, he said. "Develop a family communications procedure. Practice at least twice a year." A,A Equally important is knowing how to get information in an emergency. Information sources include the garrison's home page at www.wiesbaden.army.mil, other information on the Internet, briefing sessions, the American Forces Network radio and television, the Commander's Information Channel and messages on Army computer networks. A,A For more information about the Ready Army program visit www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy or www.ready.gov/america/getakit/army.html.