In recognition of September as National Preparedness Month, Virginia REALTORS® are encouraging people to ready themselves by making plans for how to stay safe and communicate during an emergency. Preparedness Month reminds us all to collect supplies and make and share a plan for the protection of our families, homes, and communities. Since natural disasters and other emergencies can inhibit channels of communication, the first step to safety planning is to inform close contacts about the course of action in case of an emergency. Consider transportation routes and property safeguards, as well as the needs of elderly family members and pets. To assist Virginians with disaster preparedness, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management offers www.ReadyVirginia.gov as resource that includes checklists of essential supplies, step-by-step guides for staying safe in emergency conditions, and instructions to stay informed of critical updates.