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September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month

Don't Wait Communicate GraphicIf Tropical Storm Hermine’s Labor Day weekend visit to Hampton Roads wasn’t enough of a reminder to be prepared for emergencies, September is National Preparedness Month. 

September also happens to be the peak period for hurricane season in the Atlantic, so there’s no time like the present to get prepared. In fact, this year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”

The folks at Ready.gov have given each week in September a different planning target. Following the First Week kickoff, Week Two stresses the need to establish a Family Emergency Communication Plan that details who and how to contact family members, friends and neighbors before, during and after an event.  Ready.gov recommends that the Plan also include how to reunite should the family be separated during a disaster as well as preparations for addressing any unique needs of family members.

Week Three will stress Preparing through Service. In remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, Ready.gov recommends people get involved with their communities to see how they can help their community to be better prepared. The website, http://www.serve.gov/, can provide a list of organizations where people can volunteer to serve.

Individual Preparedness is the topic for Week Four. People should take time to:

  • Understand the actions they can take to be prepared for emergency
  • Be aware and prepare to meet their personal specific needs, if an emergency strikes. Needs like: medication, power needs, eye glasses, pet needs, etc.
  • Review and understand safety tips and protective actions that can be taken before or during a disaster.
  • Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips

Week Five will wrap up National Preparedness Month with the National PrepareAthon Day, September 30. The PrepareAthon is “a national community-based campaign that moves individuals from awareness to action by preparing for relevant hazards through group discussions, drills, and innovative communications-related products.”  Ready.gov encourages people to visit the PrepareAthon website (www.ready.gov/prepare) to find resources to develop their preparation plans, and  when the plans are completed, return to the website to register and share their plans.

10 Ways to Particpate in PrepareAthon Graphic