Recent history demonstrates the need for greater preparedness. Events such as the World Trade Center attacks, Katrina, and the annual hurricane season serve to emphasize this need in the month of September. Particularly in the United States, the first month of autumn has taken on special meaning for the business continuity community, emergency managers, and those interested in creating better preparedness. September seems to have naturally become the month to focus on planning and preparedness for many organizations. Domestically, the Department of Homeland Security through its www. ready.gov program, FEMA with Citizens Corps (its safe communities program), and the Ad Council have established September as National Preparedness Month. DRI International is proud to announce that it has joined a coalition of organizations, both public and private, to highlight and focus attention on September as the official month of preparedness in our businesses, our communities, and in our homes.
Given our commitment to the convergence of public and private preparedness, DRI International encourages each of our certified professionals to participate in this September’s events and activities. For those not sure where to start, just a quick look at the www.ready.gov events calendar provides an exciting list of opportunities where DRI International certified professionals can make a difference. On the very first day of September throughout the country the SafeAmerica Foundation will be sponsoring the 9/11 Drill Down for Safety exercise and testing event. Participants are encouraged to test their plans during this event. For more details, go to www.safeamerica.org. Even something as simple as texting colleagues and family regarding your contingency plan will make a difference. Another nationwide event worth mentioning occurs on Sept. 11 itself. The Grab and Go Emergency Preparedness for the Disorganized is a dial-in event designed to teach the very basics on how to plan, how to stay informed, and how to create an emergency kit. For further information about Grab and Go, you can visit http://www.askfreedomfilerexpert.com/Schedule.html.
Just as the private and public sectors need to converge in programs like PS– Prep, during National Preparedness Month it’s an opportunity for public and private sectors to converge with personal preparedness. While families and communities don’t need the same level of documentable and auditable plans that are required by governments and private sector firms, visiting ready.gov will provide you and your family with a wealth of content regarding emergency planning for children, seniors, and every member of your household (including the family pet).
September is the right time of year for this type of planning. Planning is part of that season: vacation is over, schools return to session, everybody’s favorite teams are gearing up. In the shadow of National Preparedness Month, DRI International hopes that everyone will take a moment to focus and reflect on the reasons for becoming better prepared. Use National Preparedness Month to prepare and plan for the continuity that really matters. DRI international and its certified professional community are proud to be a part of it.
Alan Berman, CBCP, is a member of the ASIS BS25999 technical committee, a member of the Committee of Experts for ANSI-ANAB, a former member of the NY City Partnership for Security and Risk Management, executive director for Disaster Recovery Institute and the co-chair for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation committee to create the new standard for the US Private Sector Preparedness Act (PL 110-53).