This September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). NPM, now in its tenth year, is a nationwide, month-long effort hosted by the Ready Campaign encouraging households, businesses, and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.
"People often ask how they can help out first responders in an emergency," said Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, "well one of the best ways is to be self-sufficient following an emergency, that takes pressure off of responders and they can focus on the most critical situations."
Preparedness is a shared responsibility that takes input and work from the Whole Community. A resilient community is one that’s prepared for an emergency and that preparation can’t be done solely by local officials. It takes individuals, families, business, schools, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations getting involved and joining together.
Residents should also talk to and work with their local emergency officials. By talking to local officials, citizens gain valuable insight, lend input, and develop relationships for planning and communicating before an emergency strikes.
"Another great way to get prepared for an emergency is to get involved in your community," Tierney said, "there are many different organizations that you can get involved with, such as Community Emergency Response Teams, Citizen Corps, and the Medical Reserve Corps."
There are many different ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs. The Whole Community can participate in various programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats. Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support.
FEMA is encouraging everyone to take steps to become better prepared for an emergency, whether it’s at home, at work, at school, or in the community, there’s a lot that you can do to be ready and help others be ready too. Simply put, this September, we’re calling on you to be a local hero.
For more preparedness information, visit www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov
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. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary