RICHARDSON - September is National Preparedness Month. From natural disasters like flooding and tornadoes to other emergencies such as a fire, a pandemic, massive casualties and chemical threats, Richardson’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is raising awareness and teaching people the importance of being prepared.

“I think there is a mindset that it won’t happen here. I’m sure people in south Richardson didn’t think we would ever get hit by a tornado. Just like they didn’t think they would get hit in Joplin or Oklahoma. The fact is if it hasn’t happened, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Having a plan in place is like having insurance,” said Scott Greeson, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for Richardson’s Office of Emergency Management.

There are 22 outdoor warning sirens within the City of Richardson. They are part of a warning system that lets people know that something dangerous like a tornado is quickly approaching.  The current average lead time for tornado warnings is 13 minutes, enough time for people to put their safety plans in action.

The Office of Emergency Management has an information table located at Richardson City Hall with pamphlets and other documents to help get residents prepared for disasters and other emergencies.

Visit www.cor.net/OEM for more information and to register for emergency notifications.