National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September. It’s a great time for families to review preparedness steps. The 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” Each week of the month highlights a different preparedness topic:
Week 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs
Financial readiness is a big part of being able to bounce back if a disaster occurs. Follow these tips to prepare:
- Check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Your Property guide.
- Visit Floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance.
- Organize your finances and critical documents with the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK).
- Set aside money for an emergency fund to cover disaster costs you may incur including hotel stay, food, gas, and insurance deductibles.
Week 2: Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
Does everyone in your household know what to do in a fire or flood? This week, make and practice your emergency plan.
- Make an emergency plan.
- Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area.
- Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan.
- Collect and secure critical documents (such as financial, insurance, medical, and other records) in a safe place so you have documentation to start the recovery process without delay.
Week 3: Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
Talk to your kids about what to do in a disaster. Would they know what to do if they were not with you? Young people can also be leaders in preparedness:
- Kids can learn about how to prepare with activities like the Prepare with Pedro Disaster Activity Book and the Ready 2 Help card game on Ready Kids. They can also help their family by helping build a kit or practicing a communication plan.
- Teens can support and lead through programs like Teen Community Emergency Response Teams (Teen CERT).
- Educators can bring disaster preparedness into the classroom! Visit Ready.gov/kids/educators for information about Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP), Teen CERT, and more resources for the classroom.
- This week, FEMA will launch the new Ready Kids website. Ready Kids will have educational resources and activities for young people, families, educators and caregivers. You can find information, programs, curricula, and activities that engage and teach youth and their families to be prepared.
Week 4: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness
Emergency preparedness is a team effort. There are lots of programs that help communities come together to prepare:
- Learn what to do in emergency situations before professional help arrives with You Are the Help Before Help Arrives.
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers are trained in basic disaster response skills. Find a CERT in your community!
- Do you want to volunteer during a disaster? Visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to learn how.
This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here.