National campaign encourages public to practice specific preparedness actions
WASHINGTON – The growing impact of disasters underscores the need for a new approach to preparing our communities. Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) unveiled America’s PrepareAthon! SM, a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience.
The strategy and structure for America’s PrepareAthon! isbased on new social science research conducted by FEMA and presented in Preparedness in America: Research Insights to Increase Individual, Organizational, and Community Action, also released today.
"The Preparedness in America study is an extensive analysis of national household data on preparedness,” stated FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Motivating families to prepare is an ongoing challenge. The study highlights the benefit of whole community collaboration to increase preparedness.”
Findings from the report include:
• The simple act of talking about preparedness with others has a very strong positive relationship with preparedness behaviors such as having a plan, knowing about alerts and warnings, and participating in trainings or drills, yet less than half of the respondents report talking about preparedness in the previous two years.
• The survey data indicated that the workplace, schools, and volunteering are effective channels for preparedness outreach. People who were encouraged by their employer to have a plan or to participate in training were 76 percent and 86 percent more likely to take these actions, respectively.
• The data identified show clear differences in how people think about different hazards: respondents believed preparing for a natural hazard is helpful, but believed terrorist acts, hazardous materials accidents, and disease outbreaks were less likely and that preparedness would not be as helpful.
America’s PrepareAthon! providesa national focus for millions of individuals, organizations, and communities to take action to improve their level of preparedness. Twice a year—in the spring and fall—schools and universities, faith-based organizations, businesses, and civic organizations across the country will organize community days of action to discuss, practice, and train for relevant hazards. The campaign will feature preparedness materials on hazards such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, extreme heat, earthquakes, wildfires, hazardous materials and severe winter weather.
The goal of the campaign is to increase the number of people who: understand the hazards most relevant to their community; know the corresponding protective actions, mitigation measures and community plans; practice actions that increase their preparedness; and contribute to whole community preparedness planning. America’s PrepareAthon! provides a consistent and coordinated communication and outreach strategy around the national vision for resilience for the general public while establishing a platform for interagency and public-private partner coordination for preparedness and resilience metrics.
Like most great American successes, building a more resilient Nation will depend on the whole community working together to increase resilience by household, by community, and through partnerships between communities, businesses, and state, local, tribal, territorial and federal agencies. To date, the following national organizations have pledged their commitment to America’s PrepareAthon!: The American Red Cross, the International Association of Emergency Managers, Target, the Corporation for National and Community Service, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and the Resilient Communities for America.