It's National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month ! National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder to take action to prepare now, and throughout the year, for emergencies that could affect where you live, work, or visit.
This year's theme is, “Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” You never know when a disaster will strike, and you may not be with your family when it does. Creating an emergency plan, including knowing how you'll communicate with loved ones, is a great way to prepare for emergencies.
Each week of National Preparedness Month highlights a specific preparedness theme:
- Week 1 (August 28 – September 3): Kickoff to National Preparedness Month
- Week 2 (September 4 – 10): Preparing Family and Friends
- Week 3 (September 11 – 17): Preparing Through Service
- Week 4 (September 18 – 24): Individual Preparedness
- Week 5 (September 25 – 30): Lead Up To National PrepareAthon! Day
We encourage you to participate in this national declaration to prepare individuals, families, and communities across the nation. During September, and especially on the September 30 National PrepareAthon! Day, cities and counties across the country are planning events to bring together schools, businesses, city governments, houses of worship, hospitals, individuals, and families to participate in drills and activities for hazards in their areas. We encourage you to register your participation on the America's PrepareAthon! website .
Get ready for National Preparedness Month by accessing the 2016 National Preparedness Month Social Media Toolkit on the Ready Campaign website. There, you'll find preparedness messages to share with family, friends, and colleagues.
2016 ICP Award Winners Announced
FEMA has announced the winners of the 2016 Individual and Community Preparedness (ICP) Awards. These awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements of individuals, programs, and organizations throughout the country that contributed to making communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient.
The 11 FEMA ICP Award recipients will be recognized on September 13 in Washington, D.C. During the recognition ceremony, recipients will share their experiences, success stories, and lessons learned with fellow emergency management leaders.
This year, you can engage directly with awardees during the America's PrepareAthon! broadcast, “Go Big with #Community #Preparedness” on September 14 at 5:15 PM ET. Tune into the broadcast on Facebook or Periscope .
A list of the ICP recipients and the honorable mentions for each category is available on the Citizen Corps website .
New Resource: How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Scenario
Recent national tragedies remind us that an active shooter incident could happen in any place at any time. The best way to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe is to prepare ahead of time.
To help you prepare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released the How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Scenario guide that outlines steps you can take before, during, and after an active shooter incident. The guide also includes additional resources, including an online course, and information for houses of worship and schools.
To learn more about preparing for an active shooter incident, check out this story featuring Augustana College in Rock Island, IL where 1,700 students, 150 staff, and 34 local agencies, organizations, and public safety departments participated in a full-scale active shooter exercise.
Updated Hurricane Forecast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently updated its 2016 Hurricane Season Outlook . Forecasters now predict a 70 percent chance of 12 to 17 named storms, of which five to eight are expected to become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes. With peak hurricane season now underway, it is a good time to get prepared!
Hurricanes can cause loss of life and catastrophic damage to property along and near coastlines and extending several hundred miles inland. Threats from hurricanes include:
- High winds;
- Heavy rainfall;
- Storm surge;
- Coastal and inland flooding;
- Rip currents; and
The extent of damage varies according to the size and wind intensity of the storm; the rate, amount and duration of rainfall; the path of the storm; and other factors such as the number and type of buildings in the area, the terrain, and soil conditions.
The How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide from America's PrepareAthon! outlines steps you can take today to protect yourself and your property before a hurricane hits, including:
- Know your community's local hurricane evacuation plan, and identify several escape routes from your location in case roads are blocked;
- If you plan to evacuate by car, keep your car fueled and in good condition and be sure to keep emergency supplies and a change of clothes in your vehicle;
- If you will need to use public transportation, contact your local government emergency management agency to ask how an evacuation will work, how you will get current information during an evacuation, and the location of staging areas;
- Waterproof your home's basement and elevate critical utilities such as electrical panels and heating systems;
- Purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program . You may also be able to purchase insurance for wind;
- Stay away from water, shorelines, areas that are prone to flooding, and low land areas that may be dry but prone to flash flooding;
- Listen to alerts and warnings, and be prepared to get to high ground immediately if there is a flash flood;
- Never walk or drive through floodwaters: Turn Around, Don't Drown!;
- If you are not in an evacuation zone or flood area, know where to shelter for high winds and be prepared with sufficient supplies to remain on high ground until flooding in nearby areas subsides; and
- Plan to bring inside or anchor any items that might be blown away and become projectiles in high winds. Anchor outdoor grills, fuel tanks, and other items that are not safe to bring inside.
To learn more about preparing for hurricanes, check out “When the Waves Swell” from America's PrepareAthon! Be sure to share with family, friends, and neighbors.
Upcoming Preparedness Events
Mark your calendars! FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division has several exciting events happening during National Preparedness Month that can help take your preparedness to the next level.
Share Your PrepareAthon! Story
Are you taking specific actions to prepare during National Preparedness Month? Show us! Share your “#PrepareAthon Story” with us on Twitter and Facebook using #PrepareAthon and we'll share the best stories on our social media accounts during the week leading up to the September 30 National PrepareAthon! Day.
Get creative! We want to see how you get prepared
Webinar: National Preparedness Month and Preparedness Resources for Faith-based and Community Organizations
The White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar on Thursday, September 8 from 2-3 PM ET , which will feature information on disaster preparedness resources available for a successful National Preparedness Month and a brief presentation on the FEMA Non-Profit Security Grant.
How to Join the Webinar:
We hope that you will be able to join us on September 8!
#Prep2Serve Twitter Chat
Get in the spirit of service with a special Twitter chat hosted by @Citizen _Corps on Friday, September 9 at 1 PM ET . The chat will highlight the importance of volunteering and community service before, during, and after a disaster. Participating organizations will discuss different ways people can get involved in their community. Join the conversation or follow along using #Prep2Serve .
FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Live Broadcast
Join winners of the 2016 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards on Wednesday, September 14 at 5:15 PM ET for a Facebook Live and Periscope broadcast to discuss how to “win” at preparedness in your community. Viewers will have the chance to ask questions of the Award winners during the broadcasts.
Ask #CERT Live Broadcast
Got questions about how to get involved in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in your area? Just ask! Join FEMA's national CERT program lead and Fairfax County, VA CERT on Friday, September 16 at 2 PM ET for a special Facebook Live and Periscope broadcast and Q&A session.
Campus Ready Webinar and Twitter Chat
On Wednesday, September 21 , FEMA Region I in collaboration with America's PrepareAthon! will host a Campus Ready preparedness webinar from 1-2 PM ET focusing on back-to-school actions colleges and universities can implement as the school year begins. The webinar will be followed by a live Twitter chat from 2-3 PM ET with colleges and universities from across the country discussing family communications plans and other best practices.
Dates for Your Calendar