National Preparedness Month (NPM*) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. It’s an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families for when an emergency happens. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and place of worship. All individuals should take time to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid, and check insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
The current pandemic, the recent Hurricane Ida, and the wildfires of this and the past two years have reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.
The website www.ready.gov is an excellent tool for preparedness information with information and links to additional resources. There you’ll find information on how to make a disaster or emergency plan and how to make your own emergency kit or “bug-out bag.”
Richland Public Health also has plenty of local disaster information at our emergency preparedness page. It’s located under the “Your Home” link at richlandhealth.org: https://richlandhealth.org/home-health/emergency-preparedness/ There, you will find an alphabetical listing of 60 downloadable PDF documents from the American Public Health Association (APHA) covering a variety of Emergency Preparedness issues.
Also, on that site you will find a link to the Richland Public Health Emergency Response Plan, created along with the Shelby City Health Department. This plan was approved by the Ohio Department of Health as part of Ohio’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP).
Weekly Themes for 2021: Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.
Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan
Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.
Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date.
Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness
Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
*NPM is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “Ready Campaign” in partnership with Citizen Corps to encourage Americans to make sure they are prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.