When the weather app pings on your phone and warnings appear on TV, are you ready to protect yourself and your loved ones?


Iowans know to run for the basement when high winds are expected. What about flash flood warnings? If your home or workplace is in a low lying area susceptible to water runoff, are you prepared to evacuate quickly? Avoid a last minute scramble to gather important items by assembling an emergency kit.


GATHER: bottled water, canned food and can opener; flashlight and radio with extra batteries; first aid supplies, personal care items such as diapers; a loud whistle; extra keys to house and vehicles; work gloves, and duct tape.


TO DO: Make copies of birth certificates, licenses, insurance documents (health, home, auto, etc.), and store in zippered plastic bag.


Plan where you would go for several weeks if your home was destroyed. An out of town relative or friend?


Assemble your preparedness kit in easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or duffel bags. Be sure everyone in the household knows about the kit and where it is.


Curious for more information? Go to www.ready.gov or the Safeguard Iowa website www.safeguardiowa.org under the Preparedness tab.