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Give Thanks and Be Prepared

Release date: 
November 26, 2013
Release Number: 

CHICAGO –As temperatures drop and another busy holiday season is upon us, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V office encourages everyone to take time for preparedness. Thanksgiving is a time when we come together to give thanks for our blessings. This year, while your family is together, have a discussion about being better prepared for disasters.

“Getting together as a family to make your preparedness plans ensures that everyone knows the plan and the steps to take should disaster strike,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “Do all you can in advance of an emergency to keep your family safe.”

When you meet with your family, discuss the types of risks your family can face. Explain why everyone needs to understand the steps to take before, during and after a disaster because you may not all be together when disaster strikes. Make sure to set up times during the year to practice and update your plan.      

You should also discuss the specific supplies you need for your family’s emergency supply kit. When developing your family’s plan and kit make sure to consider the unique needs of everyone in your family. People with disabilities, children and older adults may need additional items in their emergency kits in order to stay safe and healthy. And don’t forget your pets – they’re part of the family too.

Make sure your emergency supply kit contains at least a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and flashlights and batteries.  Update your emergency supply kit in preparation for winter weather with items such as:

  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways;
  • Sand to improve traction;
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.

Find valuable winter weather tips at Visit /smartphone-app to download the free FEMA app, available for your Android, Apple or Blackberry device.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,, and  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Media Contact: Cassie Ringsdorf, 312-408-4455


Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:07