For 13 years, National Preparedness Month has been observed throughout the month of September.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sponsors this observance in an effort to encourage Americans to prepare for potential emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities.
This year, the theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. YOU CAN.” This month serves as a reminder to take some time to plan for the unexpected, no matter how impossible it may seem. I can think of no better time, following the devastating flooding conditions in the gulf, as well as the wildfires in the west, to remind us all to be well prepared.
On their website, Ready.gov, FEMA has outlined a weekly focus calendar that helps to set preparedness goals over the span of a few days. These weekly themes make planning easier to incorporate in our busy day-to-day lives.
● The first week, September 1-9 is focused on making a plan for yourself, family, and friends. This could involve making a fire escape plan for your household and sharing it with your friends to encourage they do the same.
● September 10-16th revolves around helping your neighborhood and community prepare. You could establish a system with your neighbors to watch each other’s homes and notify each other of unusual activity.
● September 17-23rd suggests practicing and building out your plans. Practice your plan with your children, and test your neighborhood notification plan.
● September 24-30th is all about getting involved and being a part of something larger. There are several organizations like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army that have chapters all over the country. Give them a call and see if there are any items they are running low on, or even volunteer your time!
This month is also a great time to renew your CPR certification or attend a FEMA Emergency Management Certification course. Emergency situations happen fast, and emergency first-responders aren’t always nearby when they do. You are the help until help arrives, and it never hurts to be prepared to assist someone in-need.
My friends at SERVPRO® are experts in emergency preparedness. They are the category leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, and are always accessible at 1-800-SERVPRO®. Call them today to set up an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business, or download the Ready Plan App to create one for your home!