National Preparedness Month: What You Can Do

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be ready?

September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by FEMA, National Preparedness Month aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

National Preparedness Month is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events. We know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We’ve seen tornado outbreaks, river floods and flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages that impact communities for days at a time.

As commendable as they may be in their profession of assisting those in need, police, fire and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly in an emergency or disaster. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care for at least a short period of time following an incident; the more people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.

You are not helpless in the face of an emergency. With just a few simple steps, you can Be a Force of Nature by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example in your community.

Know your risk

Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time. It is important to understand potential risks where you live.

What you can do:

  1. Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather.
  2. Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency.
  3. Get practical tips on preparing for disaster at ready.gov.

Take action

Make sure that you and your family are prepared for an emergency. Ensure that you can go for at least three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or other local services.
What you can do:

  1. Prepare a disaster supply kit with at least three days of food and water.
  2. Create a Family Emergency Plan, so that your family knows how to communicate during an emergency.
  3. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.

Be an example

Be a positive influence on your community by sharing your preparedness story. Let your friends and family know that you’re prepared for an emergency – and that they should be prepared too. Research has shown that many people won’t prepare until they see others doing so.
What you can do:

  1. Share your preparedness story on Facebook so that friends and family will know what you’ll do in case of disaster.
  2. Tell the world you’re prepared on Twitter using hashtag #NATLPREP.
  3. Get involved with your local American Red Cross Chapter or train with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

You don’t know when an emergency might occur. These simple steps will help you be prepared for the worst.

FEMA’s Ready.gov website provides detailed information on what may be most important to you and your family.  You can find specific information tailored to specifics needs such as people with disabilities, seniors, assisting children, business readiness, and even information for you pets. For more information, see Ready.gov

NOAA is working with FEMA and other agencies to help improve disaster readiness through campaigns such as National Preparedness Month. Through efforts such as the Weather-Ready Nation initiative, NOAA seeks to build community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather events.