September is National Preparedness Month! According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) National Preparedness month began on September 1. Each week of the month carries its own theme. Topics like, “Preparing Family and Friends, Preparing Through Service, and finally Individual Preparedness. The central theme: “Don’t Wait. Communicate, Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Check www.ready.gov for an overview of all the opportunities to participate.
This current week (September 11-17) puts the emphasis on involvement through community service and coordinating your plans with neighbors. Opportunities such as Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.), Citizen Corps or the Youth Preparedness Council offer plenty of outlets for contributions at the community level.
The week of September 18-24 emphasizes Individual Preparedness and offers a new app for your smartphone featuring weather alerts, disaster resources and safety reminders. The final week, September 23-30 is billed as a Lead Up To A National Day Of Action. Participants are encouraged to organize a preparedness activity, register it on ready.gov/prepare and then share photos and stories of how your activities made a difference.
Also scheduled for September 30 is National PreparAthon! Day. The goals of this and similar events are to increase the number of folks who are aware of what type of disasters can strike their local community, what to do to be safe and mitigate damage and how to increase their preparedness level so the effects of a disaster are minimized. Community resilience planning is also on the agenda. Opportunities to sign up for individuals and organizations are posted on the website as well. F.E.M.A. has come a long way since Hurricane Katrina and their website is an excellent resource for all types of disaster planning and information.
As usual send your questions and comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns can be found on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is the Postmaster in Bandon, Oregon, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.