September is National Preparedness Month, which means there will be quite a bit of public service announcements and tips circulating as government agencies and first responders promote their respective campaigns about disaster planning.

We have traditionally focused our preparedness efforts at Monroe on a Budget and The Monroe News at the start of tornado season, and the start of winter weather season, as those are the disaster scenarios that affect our local readers in southeast Michigan on a predictable and frequent basis.

That being said, there will be a large interagency family disaster planning expo on Sept. 13 this year in Monroe. So we’ll share some of their tips this month, along with national campaign details that seem best to fit our audience, on our respective channels.

Here’s one:

Tornado safety coloring bookThe Centers for Disease Control has posted a series of children’s coloring books focusing on a variety of disaster scenarios. One of them is on tornado safety and another title features winter weather safety.

Both the tornado and winter weather booklets are very up-to-date with their recommendations, and kid-friendly in terms of simple instructions.

Follow the link to find those and other titles, and download / print them off for your kids.

– Paula Wethington

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Did you see this Associated Press article at MonroeNews.com or perhaps other Michigan news outlets today? Audit: Michigan doing good job on child support. Read beyond the headline. We have the actual state report linked up at the bottom of the AP article. The audit was for “To assess the effectiveness of OCS’s (Office of […]

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An increase in Michigan’s minimum wage is launches today, and with it comes a test of whether the gradual rise will help workers, harm businesses or neither. The first bump comes today (Monday), when the wage moves up 10 percent, from $7.40 an hour to $8.15. This is from The Monroe News. Read more at: […]

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This wasn’t extreme couponing, it was just matching a coupon to a sale at Kroger. $1.25 each was sale price on these packages; I had a coupon for $1 off two that were at least 3 ounces. These were actually 4.6 ounces as “bonus product” packages. Is bundling up annoying when you need only one […]

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Monroe County (MI) low-income residents can take advantage of the Emergency Food Assistance Program quarterly food distribution, starting Monday. This program is run by Monroe County Opportunity Program, and food packages are available to the first 1,000 eligible households. The foods that will be available include apple juice, applesauce, cherry-apple juice, canned chicken, corn, diced […]

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The Bedford Goodfellows will host a government food distribution site for Bedford Township residents from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 8330 Lewis Ave., Temperance, Mich. Those picking up food at this distribution must be a resident of Bedford, have a current utility bill, photo ID and […]

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The Monroe on a Budget column runs Tuesdays in The Monroe News. Here is this week’s installment: By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget What’s the fastest way to build a collection of football team or school spirit attire? It’s with solid color shirts that fit the color scheme you want to portray. I’ve […]

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The 2015 Community Read selection for Monroe County MI will be “The American Way of Eating: Under­cover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table” by New York Times journalist Tracie McMillan. Read more at Monroe News.com and watch The Monroe News and Monroe on a Budget for followup pieces leading up to, and […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget I don’t pay much attention to what other shoppers put in their grocery carts, but I admit that I did a double take today at Meijer, and for a reason you might not expect. I heard the clerk ask the shopper ahead of me if she had […]

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Monroe County Opportunity Program will host a Mobile Food Pantry from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday Aug. 23 at New Life Church, 6023 Summerfield Rd., Petersburg, Mich. One free food package will be given to the first 250 households attending. There is no need to register in advance. A photo ID that proves Monroe County […]

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The 5th Annual Free Medical Screening Camp will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday Aug. 23 at Salvation Army, 815 E. First St., Monroe MI. More than 20 local physicians will offer free services to non-insured and under-insured residents of Monroe County. Some of the free services will include: Glucose and cholesterol […]

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An Emergency Preparedness Expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Sept. 13 at Mall of Monroe, 2121 N. Monroe St. This is a free, family-friendly event. The exhibits and displays both inside the mall and outside include fire trucks, police vehicles and emergency medical vehicles; learning how to prepare for disasters; […]

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The second annual Seniors ROCK! community resource fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Sept. 13 at Southpoint Community Christian Church, 5699 Fort St., Trenton, Mich. This event is hosted by the congregation for those age 50 and older in the Downriver area. Resources include free flu shots, free medical testing, […]

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The Monroe on a Budget column runs Tuesdays in The Monroe News. Here is this week’s installment: By Paula Wethington / Monroe News When I sat for my high school senior picture nearly 30 years ago, I had one image in mind: A formal picture taken in a studio. I wore my dressiest blouse and […]

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The Monroe County Health Department will present Treasure Your Health: A Health Fair for Children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Sept. 27 at the health department office, 2353 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich. The free services for children ages 5-18 will include back-to-school immunizations, dental services, child physicals, hearing and vision screenings, nutrition […]

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This article is on page 6A of today’s edition of The Monroe News: Children can learn how to budget their allowance money on smartphones with Monroe Bank & Trust’s new mobile app, Banker Jr. The app teaches good banking habits through games, whose selec­tion will be expanded throughout the year, ac­cording to an MBT press […]

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The Monroe on a Budget column runs Tuesdays in The Monroe News. Here is this week’s installment. By Paula Wethington / Monroe News Families who are on tight budgets might be in a bit of a panic as to how to handle expenses relating to back-to-school season. Here’s a checklist of how to get help, […]

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Health Insurance 101, a free interactive session on the basics of health insurance, will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at Ellis Library and Reference Center, 3700 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich. Blue Cross staff members will discuss the basics of health care insurance, managing costs and cost-saving benefits.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 8330 Lewis Ave., Temperance, Mich., will host Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class starting 7 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 24. The class meets once a week, for nine weeks, with “small group discussions that help encourage accountability and discipleship.” The cost of the program is $90. To register for […]

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From my experience and perspective, the one of the first programs you should look into if your K-12 family runs into financial issues is the school lunch program. The reason is this: The cutoff for reduced-price lunches is set high enough that many working families qualify, even if they make too much money for other […]

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