FEMA Announces National Preparedness Month, Urges All to ‘Prepare to Protect’ Before Disasters Strike

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September 1, 2021

WASHINGTON -- September is National Preparedness Month, an annual observance to remind all Americans how important it is for individuals, families and communities to be prepared for disasters and emergencies that can happen at any time.

This year’s theme is Prepare to Protect and highlights how preparing for disaster is to protect everyone you love. This year, Ready Campaign shifted its focus in support of President Biden’s Executive Order on Racial Equity and FEMA’s new strategy for cultural competence that includes empowering historically underserved communities to prepare for a disaster.

For the first time ever, the agency will feature a series of public service advertisements™ (PSAs) designed to resonate with Latino communities and beyond that will launch during National Hispanic Heritage Month. In fact, the theme “Prepare to Protect” which carries universal meaning and significance, was established based on research and focus groups with Latino communities led by the Ad Council that highlighted the idea of protecting one’s family as a prime motivator to prepare for a disaster. The PSAs, in Spanish and English, will air during hurricane season and as wildfires continue to impact several states. 

“Today marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month, as we’re already in the height of a very active hurricane season, while wildfire threats to communities are increasing daily,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Now is the time that everyone should have a conversation with their family, neighbors or loved ones to discuss what you would do in the event of a disaster in your area. Use the resources on Ready.gov or Listo.gov to make sure you have taken the steps to get prepared.”

Also, everyone should sign up to receive local alerts and warning on your mobile phone. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide and have the steps to prepare for disaster with you at all times to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Each week during National Preparedness Month will focus on a theme with easy-to-follow steps that individuals and families can take to enhance their emergency preparedness efforts. This year's weekly themes include:

Notable National Preparedness Month events:

  • In partnership with the American Red Cross, FEMA will co-host a “Prepare with Pedro” day. The day will highlight the “Prepare with Pedro” activity book on social media and encourage youth to help their families prepare for a disaster by building a kit and making a plan.
  • FEMA will publish the "2020 National Household Survey" full dataset on Open FEMA. The survey tracks progress in personal disaster preparedness through insights on Americans’ preparedness actions, attitudes and motivations.
  • Region 1 is hosting a “Talk Shop” on Sept. 9 via Zoom for faith-based organizations, and how they can include themselves in emergency management and better serve their communities during disasters.
  • Region 2 is hosting FEMA “Ready Games” each Wednesday in September. The region encourages participants from the whole community to join the fun and learn about resilience, youth readiness, emergency management and the FEMA CERT program through bingo, trivia and much more.
  • Regions 3, 4, 8 and 10 to host "Spaces" live conversations on Twitter throughout the month highlighting Tribal Nation preparedness, general preparedness and disability integration.
  • Region 4 is hosting an online training for disability integration and accessibility stakeholders. The training is designed to help community-based organizations create a disaster response plan so they can stay open during disasters.
  • Region 10 is hosting a “Virtual Family Prep Night,” an interactive event aimed to include the entire family in talking about and preparing for disasters.

Ready.gov/September has free resources online, including social media content in multiple languages, for public use. Help spread the word of how to be prepared for disasters and emergencies before they happen. For more information, visit Ready.gov and Listo.gov.

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