Severe Weather Alerts

Preparing for the Worst

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The American Red Cross says all too often families are not prepared when a natural disaster strikes. The Red Cross says if you haven’t now is the time to plan for a natural disaster. If you’re new to the area you should contact your local geologist or county planning department to find out if your home is located in a flash flood or landslide area. You should also let authorities know if you have any special needs (ex. bedridden family member). If you haven’t packed an emergency “go bag” officials say now is the time to do so.

The bag should contain:

  • Copies of important documents
  • Cash
  • Contact and meeting place information
  • Extra set of keys
  • Non-perishable food and bottled water
  • Flashlights
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Prescriptions and emergency medication
  • Supplies for children and infants
  • Waterproof matches
  • Batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Protective gloves
  • Plastic bags


For more information on preparing for a natural disaster:, and