Although the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year, September is generally the busiest time of year for tropical storms and hurricanes. It’s fitting then, that September has been designated National Preparedness Month, to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
In a message from the White House, President Biden proclaimed, “In the past year, our nation has faced both unpredictable and unprecedented challenges. The 2020 hurricane season was one of the most active on record. Severe winter storms and record-breaking heat waves interrupted our power sector, and the climate crisis fueled horrific drought, water scarcity, and dangerous heat waves, which in turn have helped supercharge the wildfires ravaging the west. All of this has come on top of the ongoing pain and struggle of covid-19, which has impacted every community across the nation. Becoming more disaster resilient as a country—and more prepared as a people—is essential for our continued strength and security. During National Preparedness Month, we encourage all Americans to take the important steps to prepare for national and human-made threats, and to ensure that all our communities are ready for any emergency.”
According to the website www.ready.gov, for each week in September the Preparedness campaign focuses on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families, and communities, including:
- Week One: Make A Plan. Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations due to the coronavirus.
- Week Two: Build A Kit. Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home, including pets. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you need to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the CDC.
- Week Three: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness. Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Start today by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low-cost and no-cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.
- Week Four: Teach Youth About Preparedness. Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information on how they can get involved.
The www.ready.gov/be-informed site provides preparedness information on a number of different kinds of emergencies, including attacks in public, avalanches, bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, cybersecurity, drought, earthquakes, explosions, extreme heat, floods, hazardous materials incidents, home fires, household chemical emergencies, hurricanes, landslide and debris flows, nuclear explosions, nuclear power plants, pandemics, power outages, radiological dispersion devise, severe weather, space weather, thunderstorms and lightning, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, winter weather, and recovering from disasters. The page also offers different guides to help you prepare and make a plan.
The American Red Cross also offers courses for individuals or businesses that want to train their employees in things like basic first aid, CPR, and more. Courses may vary by location, so check your local branch for training courses and dates. The national site also offers several different items and kits you can purchase to be better prepared for emergencies and natural disasters.
Knowing what to do in the face of a disaster can make a huge difference in removing the element of panic and confusion from an emergency situation. Take some time to prepare yourself, your family, and your business now to be better prepared for the future.