This year’s national theme for September is “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make your Emergency Plan Today,” and the Winnebago County Health Department would like to suggest that you and your family use the opportunity to discuss your family's emergency plan.

From the Winnebago County Health Department:

Some disasters strike without any warning, and family members may not all be in the same place. How will you get in touch with each other? Where will you meet? How will you get out of your house in case of a fire? What if your neighborhood is being evacuated? It's important to make a plan now so that you will know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. Emergencies can happen at any time, not just when everyone is together. Create a communication plan and make sure that everyone in your family has it with them at all times.

If you've never thought to put together a family emergency plan, don't worry, it's not a difficult task. The Winnebago County Health Department offers up three easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

1. Collect information. Before an emergency happens, have a family discussion to determine how you will get in touch with each other if you are not in the same location.

2. Share your emergency plans. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, cell phone, or wallet.

3. Practice your plan with family. Review and practice your plan with your family on a regular basis. It is also important to have two places to meet: right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire, and outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

I'd like to add my own suggestion in the #4 spot. Don't be like this family: