Counties across the U.S. issue resolutions, employ creative strategies to engage residents on disaster preparedness
WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Counties (NACo) recognizes September as National Preparedness Month, an opportunity to highlight the role of counties in preparing for and responding to disasters.
“At FEMA we understand that all disasters are local, and the work of NACo is integral in helping communities nationwide prepare before disasters strike,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “I am encouraged by the work counties large and small are doing to prepare their communities this National Preparedness Month, and I look forward to continuing our strong partnership with NACo this month and beyond.”
Counties from across the nation joined a meeting of NACo’s Resilient Counties Advisory Board in which FEMA Director of External Affairs Justin Ángel Knighten highlighted the importance of intergovernmental partnerships in preparing for and responding to disasters. Other counties have joined in recognizing National Preparedness Month, including by issuing proclamations, engaging with local media, hosting events and rolling out creative public awareness campaigns:
- Boone County, Missouri, hosted the Boone County Ready Festival on September 14 and Anne Arundel County, Maryland, held an Emergency Preparedness Fair on Sept. 16.
- Erie County, Pennsylvania, organized an educational “Be Ready for Emergencies” bingo activity.
- Tompkins County, New York, hosted a training for its Citizen Preparedness Corps.
- Counties from Yavapai County, Arizona, to Brunswick County, North Carolina, to La Moure County, North Dakota, issued proclamations declaring National Preparedness Month.
“County officials and emergency responders play a critical role in disaster planning, immediate response and longer-term efforts to help communities and residents recover,” said NACo President Mary Jo McGuire. “National Preparedness Month is an opportunity for counties to highlight our essential responsibilities on the ground and exchange best practices in mitigation, public safety and resilience.”
National Preparedness Month, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, aims to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. As recent disasters demonstrate, the hard work of those who work on the ground to prepare for and respond to disasters and restore communities in challenging times is a critical asset. The initiative is in its third year, and NACo plans to participate in future years.