(WFSB) - September is National Preparedness Month.

FEMA says one in three Americans were impacted by natural disasters this summer.

"Start simply by making a plan. You’d be amazed how many people don’t have a plan in a disaster," Paul Huang of FEMA tells us.

FEMA says that is the first step.

"A couple years ago, I lived in the northern Virginia area and we were hit by an earthquake, and my kids were at daycare and my wife and I couldn’t communicate, because the lines were down, so it was who could get there first and what was the daycare doing," continued Huang.

Paul says his family learned from that and now they know what they’ll do.

"It's human nature to not want to think of the bad things that happen, but people are so grateful afterwards that they did do something, that they took an action to protect their families," said Huang.

He suggests building a kit to get through three to five days, have a gallon of water, per day, per person on hand, as well as nonperishable foods, batteries, medications, and food for your pets, if you have them, and know where your important items are in case you have to evacuate.

"Some of the things you can't replace are those memories or sentimental photos or family heirlooms so it's good to get a safe box, protect those things, or if you’re evacuating, make sure you grab those," Huang noted.

He also recommends checking your insurance policy before something bad happens.

"Insurance is very important to make sure you have the right policies. A lot of people don’t know that standard homeowners' insurance doesn’t cover the periled flood, so if you’re flooded people find out after the disaster that it's not covered, you’re out of luck," added Huang.

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