September is traditionally a time to prepare: getting the kids back to school or maybe getting our gardens and houses ready for the cool seasons ahead. So perhaps its no surprise that FEMA declares September as National Preparedness Month, which:
“Aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.”
Over at FEMA.gov, they’ve created a virtual community called the “National Preparedness Community” and have published a digital engagement toolkit you can download with suggestions and resources on how you can help spread the word about simple advanced preparations anyone can make to be ready in case of an emergency.
The kit includes links to websites, ready-to-use tweets for your Twitter feed (including links for more info), sample Facebook posts and more. You can download your resource kit here.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a campaign as well, inviting us to “Be a Force of Nature” by being prepared to meet Nature’s emergencies. As they explain:
“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.”
Some of those steps include:
1. Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency.
2. Prepare a disaster supply kit with at least three days of food and water.
3. Create a Family Emergency Plan, so that your family knows how to communicate during an emergency.
4. Share your preparedness story on Facebook so that friends and family will know what you’ll do in case of disaster.
NOAA’s “Weather-Ready Nation” campaign is another awareness-raising effort worth checking out. Topic-based videos and downloads on wildfires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other extreme weather situations are available throughout the site.
Even OSHA gets on board and puts their workplace spin on disaster preparedness. They offer information on how to get started with preparing for an emergency for general businesses and for workers who will respond to the emergency. For guidance on a particular type of emergency, their Natural Disaster or Specific Hazards Web pages get into the finer details.
There’s a lot of info out there to help you, your family, and your workplace respond quickly and safely to disasters. And for our safety professionals and instructors out there, it’s a great time to incorporate some of these tips and suggestions into your training sessions.
For more food for thought, check out some of our HSI blog posts:
Take a few moments during National Preparedness Month to learn a little more and ensure your own readiness level. Plus, share your emergency plans or questions in the comments section below!