• Be Ready! September is National Preparedness Month

    September 20, 2012

    national-prepardness-month-make-emergency-planWould you be ready if there were an emergency? Be prepared: assemble an emergency supply kit, make your emergency plans, stay informed, and get involved in helping your family, your business, and your community be ready for emergencies.

    Throughout September there will be activities across the country to promote emergency preparedness. More than 3,000 organizations – national, regional, and local public and private organizations – are supporting emergency preparedness efforts and encouraging all Americans to take action. Join the effort! Visit our Web site for “Emergency Preparedness and Response” and follow these four steps:

    • Get a Kit.
    • Make a Plan.
    • Be Informed.
    • Get Involved.

    September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.

    During September, emergency preparedness will focus on:

    • Home and family preparedness, including pets, older Americans, and individuals with disabilities and special needs
    • Back-to-school
    • Business preparedness

    In collaboration with the American Red Cross, CDC’s Web site, Emergency Preparedness and You identifies and answers common questions about preparing for unexpected events, including:

    • Developing a family disaster plan
    • Gathering emergency supplies
    • Learning how to shelter in place
    • Understanding quarantine and isolation
    • Learning how to maintain a healthy state of mind

    The Emergency Preparedness and Response offers additional information and resources under topics such as hurricane preparedness, extreme heat, and bioterrorism. CDC continually updates information on recent outbreaks and incidents, and lists emergency resources for the general public as well as for clinicians and public health professionals.

    Get an emergency kit

    If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.

    Review the items recommended for a disaster supplies kit or print the Homeland Security Emergency Supply checklist.

    national-prepardness-month-children-fire-truckMake an emergency plan

    Make plans with your family and friends in case you’re not together during an emergency. Discuss how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan.

    Ask about planning at your workplace and your child’s school or daycare center. The US Department of Education gives guidelines for school preparedness. Workers at small, medium, and large businesses should practice for emergencies of all kinds. See Ready Business for more information.

    Be informed

    Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Check Ready America community and state information to learn about resources in your community.

    Get involved

    Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders. Contact Citizens Corps , which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation. Contact the Medical Reserve Corps, (MRC). MRC are community-based units and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year.

    Homeland Security promotes emergency preparedness all year round via the Ready America campaign. Checklists, brochures, and videos are available in English and in Spanish online and by phone (1-800-BEREADY and 1-888-SE-LISTO).

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