Each year, our nation faces diverse threats and hazards reinforcing the need to strengthen national preparedness and resilience. On August 31st, 2015, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring September as National Preparedness Month with the theme: “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder to prepare, now and throughout the year, for a wide range of emergencies.
Over 20 million registered participants will take part in the 2015 America’s PrepareAthon! This isn’t just about making a plan for your home; encouraging your workplace to be more prepared for a disaster can have a significant impact. Studies show that when employers urge their staff to prepare for disasters, employees are 75 percent more likely to take preparedness actions. The workplace can be one of the most effective environments for educating and encouraging people to take steps to be ready for disasters. There are plenty of resources available at ready.gov/prepare.
Here are 10 simple things you can do right now to become more prepared and resilient:
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts;
- Create and test emergency communications plans;
- Assemble or update emergency supplies;
- Conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions for local hazards;
- Participate in a preparedness training or class;
- Collect and safeguard critical documents;
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards;
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage;
- Conduct an exercise or test your emergency plan; and,
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
If you’d like to learn more about how to take any of these actions, download the free guide from FEMA.
Also, take a look at the Public Service Announcement prepared by the Ready Campaign and Ad Council. It provides helpful tips about how preparedness actions now can keep us and those we care for safe during an emergency.
Finally, you can participate in National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30 by visiting ready.gov/prepare to register your activities.
Lisa Monaco is the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.