National Preparedness Month, which begins today, highlights hazard-focused themes leading up to the National PrepareAthon! Day on Wednesday, Sept. 30. During the month, FEMA and our emergency management office will be focusing on several specific hazards, encouraging us to be better prepared for them and offering suggestions on steps to take to be ready.
Over the course of the month, we’ll focus on flooding, hurricanes and power outages — all real events that can happen here and to any one of use at any time.
The overall theme for this year’s preparedness month is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”
Throughout September, we encourage you to take part in preparedness activities and events, know what to do during an emergency and most importantly, make a plan. This means having an up-to-date contact list for those you may need to reach during a disaster and establishing alternate methods of communication in case traditional means are not available.
As we begin our focus on preparedness this month, one of the first steps you should take is to make an emergency plan. FEMA has emergency plan templates on its website that you can use. In addition, our emergency management office partnered with other emergency management agencies in Northern Virginia to create ReadyNOVA.org, a website where you can create your family emergency plan online, save it to your personal computer or mobile device and print it out and keep it with you so you’ll have it when you need it. And the ReadyNOVA site will not save any of your personal information.
We realize that there are special months, weeks and days celebrated and recognized every day of the year and that National Preparedness Month might get lost in all the advertising of other special months, like Eat Chicken Month, Happy Cat Month, National Honey Month, National Mushroom Month, Update Your Resume Month, National Coupon Month and Shameless Promotion Month.
However… and we recognize the fact that we’re a little biased… the importance of making an emergency plan to prepare yourself and your family in case of an emergency seems a tad bit more important than some of these other recognitions, although we do like honey, chicken, mushrooms and saving money with coupons.
So make your emergency plan today (if you have one, update it) and stay tuned throughout the month for more on being prepared for any emergency. And for you over achievers looking to do more, use the 30 ways in 30 days preparedness tips.