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National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. For those of you who are aware and want to be involved, this means that it is still (and always) time to take action and prepare for the types of emergencies that could affect you where you live, work, and also cities you visit. This page will provide you with all of the Emergency Survival and Disaster Preparedness First Aid Products & Information you need to prepare yourself and those around you. This year's points are: Save Early for Disaster Costs, Make a Plan, Youth Preparedness, and Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness. Here are some tips on how how to check all of them off your list. Do your part and learn how to prepare for emergency situations and survive possible disasters. Share this page with youths, older adults, people with disabilities, and others with access & functional needs. The resources below will educate you about individual Disaster & Emergency Preparedness tips, Preparing for Disasters / Emergencies Through Service, equip you with resources to Make Your Family Communication Plan (including a Plan for Children), and suggest 10 Ways to Participate in America's Preparation!™

Save Early for Disaster Costs

• Check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide
• Visit Floodwater to learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business
Plan financially for the possibility of disaster
• Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)

Make a Plan

Make an Emergency Plan
• Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area
• Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan
Make and practice Your Plan graphics

Youth Preparedness

Youth Preparedness
Ready Kids
Sesame Street Fire Safety Program for preschool children (U.S. Fire Administration)
Ready Wrigley (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Owlet Skyward (National Weather Service)

Individual Disaster & Emergency Preparedness

Being prepared is a part of who you are but in the case of a disaster, preparation isn’t always front of mind. In an emergency, when help and resources may not be available for days, being prepared is more important than ever.

Be Informed about what types of emergencies might occur where you live or visit. Knowing the best responses for your personal circumstances is the key to maintaining your health, safety and independence. Sign up for local alerts, download the FEMA app, and monitor the news and weather.

Make a Plan that covers where you’ll go in an emergency and how you’ll communicate with your family in an emergency.

Build a Kit that contains the specific things you need to survive for several days such as food, water, phone charger, blankets, hygiene supply, flashlight, medication, pet needs, as well as any important documents you may need. Being prepared is a part of who you are and disaster preparation is no different. There’s no one more capable of planning for your situation than you. Be informed, make a plan, build a kit, get involved.

If you need some inspiration or ideas concerning individual preparedness, we have a helpful information to get you started. National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder that we must all take action to prepare for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and visit! Read more about how to get started on your preparedness journey!

Take action and help others prepare in your community

Preparing for Disasters / Emergencies Through Service

Understanding the importance of community preparedness is a sometimes overlooked. Preparing yourself and those around you for emergencies is only half the battle! We urge you to get involved in community organizations, neighborhood emergency plans, and local preparedness efforts in your community. This section of our National Preparedness Month page will cover these points as well as how you can get involved with first responders and emergency-focused organizations who server communities near you.

Many Americans started to wonder how they can help prepare their communities after witnessing their fellow citizens effected by disasters such as the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Through Citizen Corps, anyone can learn about opportunities to get involved and help build capacity for first responders. The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

With proper training and education, civilian volunteers expand the resources available to states and local communities. Many partner organizations offer public education, outreach and training for free. Get trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster operations. Get trained in CPR and basic first so that you may volunteer to help mass care and sheltering operations such as your local American Red Cross Chapter.

Last but not lease, get involved in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Community Emergency Response Teams are involved in aiding a wide range of emergency situations such as Residential and Community Checks, Emergency Operations Center Staffing, Public Information, Traffic and Crowd Management:

  • Residential and Community Checks: make sure family members and neighbors are safe and well following disasters.
  • Emergency Operations Center Staffing: Staff emergency operations centers to help organize and complete the response effort.
  • Public Information: Inform communities how to prepare and explain resources out there to help in case of emergency.
  • Traffic and Crowd Management: Control the flow of people during small power outages or large scale concert or sporting events.

Make Your Family Communication Plan

A Family Emergency Communication Plan can be created in as little as three simple steps. First, collect contact information for your family and other important contacts. Second make sure everyone carries a copy of this information with them. Last but not lease, have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan. You can even download these fillable wallet-sized Family Emergency Communication Plan cut out cards. Use them to type in your families information and other important contacts. Print them out and save them in your wallet so that you are always prepared with important emergency contact info.

  1. Collect: Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, or service providers.
  2. Share: Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online at, you can print it onto a wallet-sized card. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  3. Practice: Have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.

TEXT IS BEST! If you are using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not. This is because a text message requires far less bandwidth than a phone call. Text messages may also save and then send automatically as soon as capacity becomes available

Make Sure Your Kids Memorize Contacts

Communication networks, such as mobile phones and computers, could be unreliable during disasters, and electricity could be disrupted. Planning in advance will help ensure that all the members of your household—including children and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, as well as outside caregivers—know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency.

Because a disaster can strike during school or work hours, you need to know their emergency response plans and how to stay informed. Discuss these plans with children, and let them know who could pick them up in an emergency. Make sure your household members with phones are signed up for alerts and warnings from their school, workplace, and/or local government. For children without mobile phones, make sure they know to follow instructions from a responsible adult, such as a teacher or principal.

Make sure everyone, including children, knows how and when to call 911 for help. You should only call 911 when there is a life-threatening emergency. Since often children to not own a cell phone, maintain a household landline and analog phone (with battery backup if it has cordless receiver) that can be used when mobile phone service is unavailable.

Download this Family Communication Plan for Children.

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