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September is National Preparedness Month!

It's very important to be prepared for the various types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit throughout the year. This year's National Preparedness Month theme is "Disaster Don't Plan Ahead. You Can," with an emphasis on talking to your family, friends, neighbors and community about ways to prepare for potential disasters.

Individual Preparedness

This is also a good time to think about specific needs you may have if an emergency strikes, such as medication, power needs, pet needs, etc., and to prepare for them accordingly. Brush up on safety tips and protective actions you can take before or during a disaster. You may also want to download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts and safety tips.

Preparing Family & Friends

One of the most important things you can do is make a family/household emergency communication plan. In the process, you'll want to prepare for the unique needs of your family members, friends and neighbors. Consider the following questions when developing your plan:

  • How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warning?
  • How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
  • How will my family/household get in touch if cellphone, internet or landline service doesn't work?
  • How will I let loved ones know I'm safe?
  • How will my family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Other Resources: Ready Kids PDF, Communications Plan Templates

Preparing Through Service

It's also important to understand the importance of community preparedness and to work with neighbors to help each other and share resources. 

For many, National Preparedness Month is also a great reminder to celebrate first responders and emergency-focused organizations in our communities, or to look for ways to get involved. With proper training and education, civilian volunteers expand the resources available to states and local communities, and while many disasters can be impossible to predict, by working together we can better adapt and react to emergency circumstances.

Other Resources: Community Preparedness Guide, 10 Way to Participate in America's PrepareAthon