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September is National Preparedness Month, and it is in that spirit Santa Clara County officials are urging residents to prepare for the possibility of an emergency like a wildfire or earthquake.

Throughout the month, the county encourages residents to plan for potential emergencies, including building an emergency supply kit and signing up for the county’s emergency alert system.

County officials noted that both the frequency and severity of wildfires have increased across the state in recent years, and more than 1.7 million acres have burned in 2021 alone.

The county also sits on three fault lines, heightening the risk of a major earthquake.

“There are simple steps we can all take now that can save someone’s life, including our own, one day.”

Dana Reed, director of emergency management

“Emergency preparedness and disaster readiness require active participation from the whole community including residents, government, law enforcement, fire and EMS to respond to emergencies and rebuild after disaster strikes,” county Director of Emergency Management Dana Reed said.

County residents can sign up for the free alert system, which notifies residents via their cellphone, landline phone and/or email when necessary.

Residents are also encouraged to plan ahead by mapping out multiple evacuation routes and safe meeting locations in the event they become separated.

“When community members are prepared, they are better positioned to help those around them,” Reed said. “There are simple steps we can all take now that can save someone’s life, including our own, one day.”

Residents can find more emergency preparedness information and tips online.