Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
Throughout the month of September thousands of organizations – national, regional, and local public and private organizations – are supporting emergency preparedness efforts and encouraging all Americans to take action.
National Preparedness Month has been observed each September in the United States since 2004. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
Emergency preparedness is something all citizens should do in order to better survive whatever calamity that might impact you. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Make a Plan
Learning what to do in case of emergency and the specific needs of household members including animals will help you reduce the impact of disasters and may save lives and prevent injuries.
While you probably cannot prepare for every sort of disaster, there are some basic protective actions that are similar for almost any event. For example, developing a family communications plan and making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and any emergency.
It’s likely your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance:
- how you will get to a safe place;
- how you will contact one another;
- and how you will get back together.
Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Emergency Plan and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends.
You should also be aware of emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events and commuting.
Planning for the Unplanned
Don’t forget the pets
How will you communicate?
Disaster Planning for the Hurricane Season
Emergency Planning: Focusing on Preparation
Emergency Preparedness Planning at Home and in the Workplace
Mapping Out Communications Plans During a Disaster
If you think ahead and communicate with others in advance, you will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency.
Build a Kit
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own for a period of time after an emergency. Be prepared, expect, and anticipate for a power outage by having enough food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Additionally, basic services such as gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic 72 Hour Kit
Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family by preparing in advance. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards.
Save Early for Disaster Costs
- Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance.
- Start talking with your children early about money. Include kids in discussions about saving for a disaster.
- Are you financially prepared for a natural disaster?
- With the threat of inflation always with us, it’s smart to make purchases now before it becomes more expensive.
Nobody knows when, where, or how bad the next disaster might be. But this much is for sure. Those that have taken any steps towards being prepared will fare better than those that ignore this advice.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.