How to be prepared in an emergency

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR/KY3) - September is National Preparedness Month and this year's theme is "don't wait, communicate."

The American Red Cross has some simple guidelines to help keep you and your families safe in every emergency.

The Executive Director for the American Red Cross said having a bag ready to grab on the go is a great start. Some items that should be staples inside the bag include a weather radio, a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, water, canned food, gloves, duct tape and something for kids to play with.

Stacy Burks, executive director for the Southern Missouri branch of the American Red Cross, says even though it may seem like a hassle to put together now, it will be worth it when you least expect it.

"Some prior thought, some duct tape and some gloves can go a long way... It's not going to be perfect," she said. "Disasters by nature are not perfect. it is very difficult to plan for everything."

She also said everything happening across the nation should be a good reminder for people about how important being prepared is.

"I think following Hurricane Harvey and as we look out and prepare for what Hurricane Irma might bring, there is nothing more important than to be prepared and to start getting everything together as we kick off national preparedness month."

Head to for sample disaster plans to get you started.

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