CHICAGO – September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 5 office in Chicago encourages everyone to take time out of their busy schedules to learn about the disasters that may threaten their community and take steps to limit the impacts of those risks for themselves and their families.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, wildfires and flooding throughout the country highlight the need to prepare yourself and your loved ones for disasters that could happen anywhere and at any time,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect,” which is a reminder that the best way to help your household and community recover from a disaster is by taking steps to prepare yourself and your family before disaster strikes.”
As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, this National Preparedness Month all Americans are encouraged to take the critical first step to be resilient before disasters strike by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Everyone, ages 12 and older, is recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Get engaged each week by focusing on a different aspect of preparedness:
- Week 1, September 1 - 4: Make an Emergency 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 and your local health department recommendations due to the coronavirus.
- Week 2, September 5-11: Prepare an Emergency Supply 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: Prepare for Disasters. Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Preparing your family and your home shouldn’t wait either. Learn ways to protect your home from the most common weather-related disasters that can happen where you live. And make sure your family knows what to do before, during and after they happen.
- Week 4, September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness. Disasters affect everyone, and it’s important to teach our children how to prepare for disasters and emergencies. Talk with young people about the types of disasters that can happen where you live and encourage them to talk and ask questions when you are impacted by a disaster.
For detailed information about how to be ready for the emergencies you may be at risk for visit Ready.gov or our Spanish site at Listo.gov. Learn more about National Preparedness Month by visiting Ready.gov/September.
FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.