September Is National Preparedness Month
Tips, resources, and educational opportunities for keeping your community safe
This September, the Southeast is bracing for hurricanes, while the Great Plains keep a watchful eye for tornadoes, and the West Coast remains hypervigilant about threatening wildfires. In addition, there is always the fear of a local terrorist attack or active shooter. September is National Preparedness Month. This year, don’t allow your residents to fear the unknown. Help them proactively prepare their families and homes for disasters that could threaten your community.
The Purpose of National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month occurs every September as a reminder of the importance of preparing for unexpected events to minimize impact.
Helping Your Residents Prepare for a Disaster
Encourage residents to participate in National Preparedness Month by offering educational opportunities, tips, and resources.
- Offer additional life-saving skill courses, such as CPR and first aid
- Conduct public safety drills with your mass notification system.
- Encourage additional volunteers for your citizen emergency response team (CERT)
- Include a statement stuffer in utility bills encouraging residents to check their home or renter’s insurance policies to ensure they are protected from everyday hazards in your area, such as floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes
- Remind community members all month long to stay vigilant and informed by posting tips and best practices on social media and using common National Preparedness Month hashtags such as:
- Work with your local sheriff’s office and police or fire department to create informational videos and share them on your government website and social media for topics like how to turn off a gas line, safely operate a generator, or board up windows
- Encourage people to sign up to receive alerts via your mass notification system
- Remind residents about your community’s designated evacuation zones and routes, especially if you anticipate seasonal disasters such as hurricanes; encourage families to make personal emergency evacuation and communication plans for their homes
- Create and share tutorial videos that instruct residents on what supplies to stock in their homes and vehicles in case of a disaster
- Encourage residents to build a contingency plan for their pets in the event of a disaster
Take National Preparedness Month to review your community emergency preparedness policies for anything outdated or in need of refreshing. Also, if your community has not already signed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to utilize its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), take the time to learn about this mass notification tool and how, if integrated into your emergency mass notification system, you can use it to inform residents and travelers of crucial information in seconds.
Remember that while September is worthy of additional preparedness considerations, residents and public safety officers need to keep thoughts of safety and awareness top of mind all year long because you never know when the unexpected will occur.