Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed September as Emergency Preparedness Month to encourage families, businesses and schools to take precautionary measures to prepare themselves for a variety of emergencies. She urged everyone to have an emergency plan and kit. Perdue explained that it does not take a major hurricane or tornado to cause extensive damage to a home or business. Last year alone, North Carolina experienced 63 tornadoes, nearly half of those were during the statewide outbreak on April 16. In addition, there were more than 1,400 severe thunderstorms, over 375 hail storms, as well as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Perdue urged individuals and families to have their emergency plans and supplies in place. Cities, counties and state agencies should routinely test and exercise their response plans. A variety of information about planning for disasters is available at www.readync.org. For updates on disasters that impact the state, follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter. The governor’s proclamation of Emergency Preparedness Month coincides with National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and held each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies. The Web site for the national campaign is www.ready.gov.