September is National Preparedness Month, which was founded after 9/11 to encourage and make information readily available to Americans to be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Throughout September, DHS will work with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to highlight the importance of emergency preparedness, as well as to promote individual involvement through events and activities across the nation.
As the nation’s lead organization for preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has developed specific tools for the public to become more educated and spread the word on preparedness using the theme, “You Can Be the Hero.” Disasters affect everyone—youth, parents, and all members of the community—so coordinating with your family to get prepared can be the first step in reducing the impact a disaster can have on you and your family. It is even more critical as an employee of DHS to be ready for these types of events. A well-prepared workforce is essential to the Department’s ability to protect the homeland during an emergency.
Join the National Preparedness Community
The Department invites you to join the National Preparedness Community and download the 2013 National Preparedness Month Toolkit. The National Preparedness Community is where more than 29,000 people connect and collaborate on emergency preparedness. You can use the community and the Toolkit to prepare and coordinate preparedness activities with your family, neighbors, and colleagues.
Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. This September, please prepare in the event your family must go for a few days without electricity, water service, or access to a supermarket or local services. Just follow these four steps:
- Be informed.
- Make a Plan.
- Get a Kit.
- Get Involved.
In addition to the Ready.gov site, free information is available from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources to assist you. Contact your local emergency management agencies to get details on specific hazards in your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get specific information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up to receive emergency alerts if they are available.
Make a Plan
Discuss and agree on an emergency plan with your family. You can fill out the Family Emergency Plan on page 51 of this toolkit, or download it from our website at www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Build an Emergency Kit
Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for your family—water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and a battery-powered radio. If you own pets, remember to include their food and supplies in your supply kit.
There are many ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs. As DHS employees, it is encouraged you participate in programs and activities to ensure the safety of your families, homes and communities 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.
The Ready Kids family-friendly website (Ready.gov/kids) features instructions on what families and teachers can do to prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort. Spanish material is available at Listo Niños (Listo.gov).
DHS Employee Preparedness Training
Last, but not least, online training has been developed specifically to meet DHS employees’ needs. Please visit this page to learn more about this required and informative training.