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Families throughout the country are preparing to send their sons and daughters to college – and many of them will be away from home for the first time. Being prepared will help your college student remain safe and calmly deal with emergency situations.

Having a disaster readiness kit is one of the best ways to stay prepared. This can be as simple as a backpack containing items like a flashlight, a small radio, extra batteries, a solar powered or hand-cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies. Ready-made kits designed for students can be ordered from the American Red Cross. Advise your student to keep their kit in an easily accessible place, like under the bed or on the top shelf of a closet.

Most colleges have emergency plans and it may be posted on their website. If not, contact the admissions office to get a copy and confirm your child is registered on the emergency notification system.

Also, prepare your family communications plan now so your child will know how to contact you in case communications between home and school are disrupted. Make an emergency information list of names, phone numbers and locations of family members, doctors, medical insurance and other important resources.

Source: FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief for Aug 22, 2013
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cc icon attribution small 2.0cc icon noncomm small-2.0image by Joost Nelissen
Temperatures are rising across the country and many cities are feeling the heat of 100 degrees or more. With the addition of humidity, some areas will begin to experience extreme heat. During extreme heat, it is important to stay cool.

Extreme heat causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes combined. Heat related illnesses occur when the body is not able to compensate and properly cool itself. The great news is extreme heat is preventable by following a few tips:

• Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperatures.
• Weather strip doors and windows to keep cool air in.
• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sunshine with drapes, shades or awnings.
• Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
• Stay indoors. If you do not have air conditioning, visit a cooling station such as your local library or shopping mall.
• Wear light weight and light colored clothing with sunscreen to reduce exposure to the sun.
• Do not leave children or pets in the car unattended at any time.
• Pace yourself in your outside activities. Reschedule if needed.

For more information on beating the heat visit:
http://www.ready.gov/heat
http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/
image of helping students
image by Steve Wood/UAB
 April 27, 2013 marks the two-year anniversary of one of the most devastating natural disaster days in the history of Alabama. Three waves of tornados would leave Alabama with a dramatically different landscape, which is still viewed from the back roads and highways of Alabama today.

The EMA estimates that 1.1 billion dollars worth of damage was sustained, however other groups put that total much higher. During that day 62 tornados touched down in thirty-five of Alabama's 67 counties inflicting 248 deaths and 2219 injuries. More than 7000 people became unemployed in less than six minutes. Lives were changed forever!

Take time to learn how to be prepared for a tornado.