September is National Preparedness Month. Much of the nation is pointing to the just-concluded Hurricane Isaac and the disastrous fires in Colorado earlier this summer as examples of incidents that impact individuals and families. Here in Jackson, says Emergency Management Coordinator Rich Ochs, evacuations due to wildfire or stranding due to winter storms are very real threats. Ochs says this is a good time to either assemble or check over each household’s 72-hour kit. He says checking that kit once a year is a good idea since food and water can go bad and flashlight batteries can leak and other things in the kit should be checked and updated if necessary. Once the kit is in place, Ochs says the family should formulate a plan in the event an emergency occurs when they are separated, or they become separated as a result of the emergency. He says families should have a central contact outside of the valley since often when local phone service fails, long distance service remains available. Also he says, pick a spot nearby to gather as a family in the event of a house fire or within walking distance in case the entire neighborhood is evacuated. Ochs says tips for preparing for the worst are available on the county’s emergency management website, and there is also a place to register for preparedness prizes from either Teton County Emergency Management or the State of Wyoming.