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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn - Living in Minnesota, we think of spring and tornadoes as our most likely chance to encounter a natural disaster, but an emergency can occur anytime.

Professional organizer, Louise Kurzeka, from Everything's Together, advises using September, National Preparedness Month, as an opportunity to make sure your are prepared for whatever nature or life may bring. She says it's easy if you follow the three "P's" of Preparedness - People, Places and Papers.

People - The most important step you can take is to create a Family Emergency Plan. Know how to exit your home, if it's unsafe to be inside or where you will go if in the home, if it's unsafe to be outside. Decide how you will get in touch with each other if disaster strikes and all are not together. Have a location to meet up at and determine an out of the area contact person as a clearing house for updating info. Fill out and carry info cards that can be referred to quickly. For more information: www.ready.gov.

Places - In an emergency, your home may be the place you need to be for several days, without outside support. Prepare for the basics of survival - food, water and warmth. Keep a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and water for each member of your household. Also include cash, sanitation products, prescriptions, OTC medications, first aid kit, tools, NOAA weather radio, flashlight, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags/blankets and extra clothing. Don't forget about the special needs of pets and infants. Store the items in a sealable, transportable tub kept in a cool dry place in your home, preferably a lower level. For acomplete list of items to include in your home survival kit go to www.redcross.org

Papers - In an emergency you won't have time to search for all your vital documents and important papers. Bring them all together now and store in a zipper type waterproof bag kept in the at home area where you currently store loan documents, deeds, titles and the like. If disaster strikes, pull it out and keep with your Home Survival Kit or in a travel backpack.

Be your own first responder by committing to get prepared and ready now.

To contact Louise Kurzeka of Everything's Together call 952-939-8080 or email louise@everythingstogether.com.

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