“The theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Prepare to Protect.” During the past year, natural disasters have sent our communities into turmoil, and we have seen the particularly devastating toll they take on disadvantaged, low-income communities and people of color. Beyond the physical damage done by natural disasters, these storms also exact an emotional toll on their victims, from the pain of losing a loved one to the pressure caused by financial setbacks. Therefore, we must all prepare to better protect ourselves and our communities against both immediate crises and their residual effects.” – President Joseph R. Biden Jr. – A Proclamation on National Preparedness Month, 2021
National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. As President Biden mentioned in his Proclamation, this year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect.” It is crucial to prepare for disasters in any way one can. When a disaster strikes, we all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
No matter the month, we can always learn more about planning and preparing for disasters effectively. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become better prepared.
1.) Make a Plan – Take the opportunity to talk with friends and family about developing a communications plan that will occur before, during, and after a disaster. Then, make sure to update your communications accordingly.
2.) Build a Kit – Gather the necessary supplies you will need during a disaster. Make sure you have enough for several days. Be sure to include supplies for everyone living in the home. Update your kits and supplies as needed.
3.) Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness – Sign up for safety alerts that help track possible disaster occurrences. It is also vital to safeguard essential documents (e.g., insurance cards, medical records, identification). These low-cost/no-cost preparedness actions can help lessen the impact of emergencies during a disaster for your family and you.
4.) Talk to the Younger Generation about Preparedness – Talk to your kids about the importance of personal preparedness during an emergency. Develop an action plan with them in case you are separated. Provide (and reassure) them with the correct information and additional resources on how they can be more prepared for a disaster.