September is National Preparedness Month and an opportune time for insurance agents and brokers to check in with clients to ensure they are ready should a natural disaster strike.

One critical step individuals and families should take to prepare for an emergency is building a disaster supplies kit that contains food, water and other items needed for a household to survive for several days in the event of a catastrophe.

FEMA recommends that disaster supplies be stored in airtight plastic bags inside one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. The agency's Ready Campaign, which is designed to educate Americans to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, also offers a checklist to help people assemble their emergency supplies.

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Heather A. Turner

Heather A. Turner is the managing editor of ALM's NU Property & Casualty Group. She can be reached at [email protected].