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Three Tasks to Tackle During National Preparedness Month

There's no time like September to prepare for emergencies or natural disasters. Every September since 2004, households across the United States have observed National Preparedness Month. It's a chance for homeowners to contemplate how they would handle an emergency situation, whether they face a severe weather event, a house fire, flooding, or a hazardous materials incident.

According to the National Household Survey, more than three-quarters of homeowners have supplies stocked up for potential disasters. However, only 45% say they have a household emergency plan. Here's how you can be prepared for the season ahead:

1. Develop a family emergency preparedness plan

When disaster strikes, chaos often follows. And because your family may not be together during an emergency, it's crucial to plan ahead. First, understand what emergencies you could face in your community and know what to do before, during, and after a crisis situation. Write down a plan for your family and make sure everyone understands what to do in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. Here are some additional tips on planning for an emergency.

2. Build an emergency kit

Every household should have an emergency supply kit available should an emergency arise. A kit should include basic supplies to last your family at least 72 hours. Be sure to include one gallon of water per person per day, along with additional clean water for pets. Stock nonperishable food in your kit along with a can opener. It's also helpful to include a battery-operated radio, basic medicines, and a whistle for calling for help. If you don't want to build your own, you can purchase a ready-made kit here.

3. Prepare your heating system for the cold weather

When temperatures dip dangerously low, it's important that your heating system is prepared. By tuning up your furnace now, you can ensure it runs well and address any critical issues. Plus, heating maintenance can boost your system's energy efficiency, allowing your family to stay warm while using less energy. You'll also benefit from lower monthly heating bills. Your Lennox® dealer can ensure your heating system is ready for winter.

National Preparedness Month is an ideal time to prepare for the changing season and consider equipping your home for extreme fall weather. By understanding what to do in a crisis and being prepared for what may come, you'll reduce the fear and anxiety that comes in many disaster situations like when a hurricane hits. And most importantly, you'll be helping your family stay safe.

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