National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month! September 2021's theme is "Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love." 

Designed by and FEMA, National Preparedness month works to promote family and community disaster emergency planning now and throughout the year. 

Read on for tips from on how prepare for any type of emergency today. Visit for more information.

Create and practice an emergency plan

  • Make an emergency plan today and start practicing it! Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner – remember, it’s important to include kids in the disaster planning process
  • Create a group text chain or download a group messaging app so your entire circle of family and friends can keep in touch before, during and after an emergency. Consider downloaded the @fema app for weather alerts and disaster resources:
  • Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment. It’s also key to learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home:

Get your kids ready for any disaster

  • Teach children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away from home and make sure your kids know how to communication during an emergency. Review these topics with them: sending a text message; emergency contact numbers; dialing 9-1-1 for help.
  • Add your kids’ school’s social media info to the family communication plan to monitor for any emergencies and review your family emergency communications plan with kids at home often!
  • Once you’ve created your family’s emergency kit, make sure to include your child’s medication or supplies, favorite stuffed animals, board games, books and music to comfort them in a disaster. Get your kids involved – have them build their own emergency kit!

Get involved in local community preparedness

  • Take classes in lifesaving skills, such as CPR/AED and first aid, or in emergency response. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face. Find a local CERT training program here:
  • Learn about the hazards most likely to affect your community and their appropriate responses. Look into what voluntary organizations work during disasters in your community!
  • Check in with neighbors to see how you can help each other out before and after a storm. If you or a neighbor has a disability, plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. It’s also a good idea to contact your city or county government’s emergency management agency so they can prepare for quick help in sudden emergencies.

Save early for disaster costs

  • Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Check your insurance coverage. To learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business, visit
  • Plan financially for the possibility of disaster. Take photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim after a flood. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit will walk you through what documents may be most important in an emergency: Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK).
  • Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies, since ATMs and credit card readers won’t always be available. Cash can help pay for immediate expenses like lodging, food and gas. Learn more:

Don’t forget your pets!

  • Make sure to keep your pets in mind when creating a disaster plan and create an emergency kit just for your animals: Pet Owners Preparedness Kit. Include food, water, medicines and medical records, important documents and contact information for your vet.
  • Identify local shelters, boarding facilities and animal hospitals in case of emergencies. When planning evacuation routes, look for pet-friendly hotels and know their policies ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals!
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area as well.