Planning ahead is key to weathering disasters, says FEMA spokesperson

With threats of natural disasters across the country, from hurricanes in the south and southeast to tornadoes in the midwest and wildfires in the west, it’s important to prepare ahead of time and having some money to spend will help a lot.

“One of the easiest things is to make sure that you save a little, put a little into your rainy day fund,” said Paul Taylor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “When something happens, you have access to that money, so if you have to live out of your house for a few days or take care of some expenses, then you have that money in hand.”

Preparing for emergencies is a family affair.

“We want everyone to know what to do in case of a disaster,” said Taylor. “I think it really starts with thinking about what kind of risks exist at your house and in your area. If you know that flooding is common, you can think about how would you get out of the house, what happens if your basement floods?”

If you’ve never gone over what to do in an emergency, your family won’t know what to do.

“Practice,” said Taylor. “Put together an emergency kit and put it in a safe place. Take the family through that entire drill and once you’re done with that, check on your neighbors. See if neighbors are going to have difficulty with that. See if they have an emergency plan and see if you can help them.”

For tips on what to put in an emergency kit, go to