September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages everyone to make disaster preparedness a priority.
“National Preparedness Month reminds us that we all need to be ready for disasters and emergencies,” said FEMA Region IV Acting Regional Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “September is also the height of hurricane season, so preparing now is even more critical for families and businesses in the Southeast.”
Across the Nation, disasters are occurring with greater frequency, and are larger and more complex. Severe weather and other emergencies can strike with little or no warning and can have disastrous impacts. Already this year, states across the Southeast have experienced destructive severe storms, including the winter storms that affected Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina. Spring tornadoes and flooding also affected several states. Four named tropical cyclones, Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, and Dolly have already formed this summer, and they serve as a reminder to be ready for hurricanes.
“Take the steps necessary to make preparedness a part of your everyday life,” said Velasquez. “Prepare for the hazards that are most likely to occur where you live and work. Talk to your family and make a family disaster plan. But don’t stop there. Practice your plan. Practicing in advance of a disaster makes you better prepared to handle any emergency you may encounter.”
Make disaster readiness manageable by taking one step at a time— start by learning your specific risks, then gather supplies for an emergency kit, and finally develop a family communications plan. By taking these small, but critical steps, over time you can be prepared for disasters. A useful guide to prepare for hurricanes is located at FEMA’sAmerica’s PrepareAthon! website.
Throughout the month, FEMA will offer tips to help you be disaster ready, including ways you can stay safe during a disaster. Follow FEMA Region IV online attwitter.com/femaregion4 and www.facebook.com/fema, to receive the latest preparedness updates.
For detailed information about how to be ready for severe weather in your area, including a list of items you will want to have in your emergency kit, visit http://www.ready.gov/, or our Spanish site at www.listo.gov.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.