CHICAGO – Each September, FEMA’s National Preparedness Month reminds us how important it is to be prepared for any type of disaster risk, whether it be severe storms and flooding like southeast Michiganders experienced in late June, or even a pandemic like COVID-19.
“This month, FEMA is focused on raising awareness about how to protect those you love against disasters that may threaten your community,” said Scott Burgess, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for southeast Michigan’s disaster recovery operation. “Our goal is to empower individuals and families—especially those who have been traditionally underserved and marginalized— to take simple steps to prepare for those risks.”
The 2021 theme, “Prepare to Protect,” highlights how preparing for disasters protects everyone you love. Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.
Week 1, Sept. 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, Sept. 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. Ensure that you and your family are vaccinated against COVID-19.
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.
For more information on FEMA’s National Preparedness Month, visit www.ready.gov/september. For more information about the disaster recovery operation in southeast Michigan, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4607.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status. Reasonable accommodations, including translation and American Sign Language interpreters via Video Relay Service will be available to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, disabilities, and access and functional needs. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (including 711 or Video Relay). If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.