National Preparedness Month

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Since its inception in 2004,[1] National Preparedness Month is observed each September in the United States of America. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. FEMA's Ready Campaign, the correlating public education outreach campaign, disseminates information to help the general public prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.[2]

History[edit]

National Preparedness Month is a part of a governmental effort to strengthen the United States' preparedness capabilities. The national preparedness architecture encompasses prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare the United States for all hazards – whether terrorist attack or natural disaster.[3]

Since September 11, 2001, the US Government has taken steps to encourage all citizens to make their own survival preparations. September was chosen as National Preparedness Month, as the tragedies of September 11, 2001 highlighted to the nation the importance of being prepared. Also September has been chosen partly because of the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is in mid-September.

Important Preparedness Steps[edit]

Individuals[edit]

As of 2009, the Citizen Corps National Survey revealed that only 57% of Americans surveyed report having supplies set aside in their homes just for disasters, and only 44% have a household emergency plan.[4] National Preparedness Month serves to encourage individuals across the nation to take important preparedness steps including: getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about the different emergencies that may affect them, as well as taking the necessary steps to get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.[5]

Businesses and Organizations[edit]

How quickly a company is able to get back to business after a terrorist attack, a tornado, a fire, or a flood often depends on emergency planning and preparation done before the disaster strikes. The Ready Campaign highlights three steps to Business Disaster Preparedness: 1) Plan to Stay in Business; 2) Talk to Your People; and 3) Protect Your Investment.[6] These steps underscore how important it is for businesses to document their property/equipment, back up business-critical information, and put a response team in place.

National Preparedness Month Coalition[edit]

An organization can become a National Preparedness Month Coalition Member by agreeing to participate in a preparedness activity or event in the month of September.[7] National Preparedness Month Coalition members have agreed to promote emergency preparedness through a variety of different ways. Members can sponsor events, coordinate Disaster Preparedness Days,[8] create Disaster Checklists,[9] assist with the creation of emergency kits and survival kits, along with many other Preparedness activities.

References[edit]