September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” The nationwide month-long effort encourages households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.

Crow Wing County Emergency Management Director John Bowen says preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. “Review your family plan and even practice your fire escape and evacuation plans. Often, friends and neighbors will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive. It’s important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community. Take time to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid. Consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas. Don’t wait until an emergency happens to put a plan into action. Create one today and put your family’s mind at ease.”

Most emergencies happen without warning. In a real emergency, you may become overwhelmed or confused, so it is important to practice an emergency plan with your whole family. Build an emergency kit and make sure you are ready with enough supplies for at least three days. Review and replace the contents of your emergency kit every six months. Be sure to check expiration dates on food, water, batteries and medications. Text, don’t talk. Unless you are in danger, call 911. Texts may have an easier time getting through than phone calls, and you don’t want to tie up phone lines needed by emergency workers. Sign up for the Crow Wing County ALERT program. Get emergency and community alerts by phone, email, text or TTY/TDD. The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office will be able to notify you directly for county wide, city or township emergencies.

Crow Wing County Emergency Management coordinates with local, state and federal agencies to preserve life, property and the well-being of our citizens from natural, technological and man-made disasters. For preparedness information or to sign up for the ALERT program, call (218) 829-4749 or visit

These links can help you create your own emergency plan: and

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