DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. -

September is National Preparedness Month and officials with the Riverside County Emergency Management Department were out educating community members. They set up a booth in Desert Hot Springs at the K-Mart parking lot Friday.

Those that showed up got various pamphlets and essential items for their earthquake kits. This included, flashlights, gloves, and emergency blankets. One particular item that officials said wasn’t not on them minds of many people as something essential for their kit was cat litter.

“If plumbing is out, we're going to look for rudimentary sanitation devices such as a trash can or a bucket and kitty litter is going to come in real handy and you'll be grateful you have it,” Brooke Federico, senior public information specialist with the emergency management department.

Nickolas Sandoval, a Desert Hot Springs resident, said he was surprised to see such an item.

“I just thought it was mainly made to provide the animals with somewhere to go but it’s actually going to be really beneficial to fill the earthquake kits,” he said.

Federico suggested families prepare an earthquake kit with items such as a gallon of water per person for three days, three days’ worth of non-perishable foods, and battery-powered radio.