The 1st of September marks the start of the ever-awaited National Preparedness Month. This event serves as a reminder that we should prepare for the types of emergencies that could bring changes to how we live and work. This year’s theme is ‘Prepare and Protect. Preparing for Disaster is Protecting Anyone You Love.’
Emergencies and disasters can happen anywhere, anytime, often without warning. It can be in the form of floods, chemical spills, terrorist attacks, and many more. Such emergencies can last for days, weeks, months, even years and can affect the way we live. Although the government, local organisations, and community help can provide assistance, they may be short-staffed or may not be able to reach people in need immediately. With help often taking days to arrive, all of us must prepare ahead of time. Being prepared will ensure that you sustain your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, sanitation, and first aid.
When being faced with a natural or man-made emergency, it is best to stay informed. Listen to the radio, watch TV, or browse the internet. In certain cases, cable and cellphone services will not be available. This will make communication nearly impossible, so it is best to stock batteries for your radio.
Every week in September, the National Preparedness Month campaign will focus on different aspects. There will be activities intended for individuals, families, and communities.
Week 1: Make a Plan
(September 1-4) Start the month by talking to your friends and family and decide how will you communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure you follow the recommendations from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).
Week 2: Build a Kit
(September 5-11) Prepare and gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster. Make sure to include everyone living in your home when preparing supplies. Do not forget to consider the unique needs of each individual in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your first aid kits and food supplies based on recommendations by the CDC.
Week 3: Low Cost, No Preparedness
(September 12-18) You can limit the impact of disasters by knowing the risks in your area. Study how you can make your home stronger in the face of storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters.
Week 4: Teach Youth About Preparedness
(September 19-25) Talk to your kids about how well prepared you to need to be and what to do if you are separated from them. While talking to them, provide reassurance by giving them enough information on how they can get involved.
The National Preparedness Month only comes once a year, but if there is one thing that this year (and the last one) has taught us, it is we need good preparation more than ever. After all, a disaster, crisis, or emergency will not wait until you become ready. We cannot control what will happen, but at least we can be prepared.
Being a part of the preparedness effort this month is easy. There are many great ways to get involved and make a difference. You can participate in a local community event to work with the local fire department. You can also contribute in small ways, such as including preparedness in existing communications or even doing a practice drill. No effort is too small or too large when it comes to safety preparedness.
National Preparedness Month is the grassroots campaign for actions to increase overall preparedness and resilience within the community. We encourage you to participate in the celebration by taking small actions throughout the month.
Join others around the world to practice your preparedness! Enrol in a First aid course today.