KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This is the first week of National Preparedness Month (NPM) and in the Midwest it’s off to a roaring start with active outreach and conversations meant to inspire individuals and families to take action and prepare for flooding—the most common and costly disaster in the United States. Yes, it can happen where you live!
During this first week of NPM, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 10 regional offices; county and local emergency managers; other federal agencies; businesses; voluntary and other organizations; as well as families and individuals will use news releases, social media, educational activities and events to promote the message that preparing for floods is important for protecting lives, livelihoods and properties.
“Flooding is fresh on the minds of many people in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. With so much flooding during the past few months, it’s a good time to consider the true risk,” said FEMA Region VII Regional Administrator Beth Freeman. “But it’s not enough to simply realize flooding is a real threat for us all. This month, this week, today, we hope everyone will take action to develop and practice a family emergency communication plan for hazards like flooding. This year our theme is, 'Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.'”
Fewer than half of Americans have taken the time to plan what they will do if there is an emergency. Sitting down and developing a communication plan with loved ones doesn’t cost a thing, but can save a lot if a flood or another disaster impacts you and your family.
In addition to floods, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and earthquakes also occur frequently and devastate lives across the country every year. To encourage disaster planning for all hazards, FEMA and the Ad Council just launched a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish, at www.ready.gov/september, The PSAs direct audiences to www.ready.gov/communicate for tools and resources to help develop and practice a family emergency communication plan.
Managed and sponsored by the Ready campaign, National Preparedness Month is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship. National Preparedness Month is an opportunity to share emergency preparedness information and host activities across the country to help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready.
National Preparedness Month Weekly Themes
•Week 1 (September 1–5) Flood
•Week 2 (September 6–12) Wildfire
•Week 3 (September 13–19) Hurricane
•Week 4 (September 20–26) Power Outage
•Week 5 (September 27–30) Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30
National Preparedness Month culminates with National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30 when cities and counties across the country are planning community-wide events bringing together schools, their business community, government, faith leaders, hospitals, individuals and families, and others to participate in preparedness drills and activities for hazards that are relevant to their area.
For more information visit Ready.gov/September or follow the campaign on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/readygov, on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/Readygov, or for FEMA Region VII, www.twitter.com/femaregion7. For more information about events for America's PrepareAthon throughout September, and for National PrepareAthon! Day information, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.
Quick facts to consider as you plan:
•Text messages and social media can be better ways to communicate during an emergency when phone lines are tied up, or even not working.
•Homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover floods
•Talking to children about emergencies and involving them in the planning process helps children feel they have some control over what could happen during an emergency. It can also make recovery much easier on everyone.
Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Find regional updates from FEMA Region VII at www.twitter.com/femaregion7. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.