September is here, and you may not realize it, but this is National Preparedness Month.
The purpose of this month is to raise awareness among Americans about preparing for natural and man-made disasters.
No matter where you live, there is at least one natural disaster concern, whether it's hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or volcanoes. Natural disasters are unavoidable.
What is National Preparedness Month?
National Preparedness Month was established in 2004 as a result of the tragic event of September 11, 2001.
Another reason the month of September was chosen is because it's the peak hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean.
September National Preparedness Month is sponsored and managed by FEMA's Ready Campaign.
Their purpose is to educate Americans on how to prepare not only for natural disasters, but also for potential terrorist attacks.
All month long, there's a preparedness focus, with the finale on September 30, also known as National Preparedness Day.
There are other disasters to consider, though. Sadly, terrorist attacks, school shootings, and similar horrible events can happen anywhere.
What to Know about 2023 NPM
The Ready Campaign usually has a specific theme and focus for each year. For 2023, the campaign theme is "Take Control in 1, 2, 3."
The primary focus for 2023 is to help older adults in communities that are most impacted by hazardous events.
The elderly tend to have greater struggles during disasters. This could be for several reasons, including:
- Living alone
- Living in low-income neighborhoods
These obstacles cause individuals to have a harder time transporting to safety and acquiring the resources they need.
Perhaps you fit into this category or have a loved one who does.
Emergency Preparedness Month is a great time to learn how to best serve them in the event of a hazardous emergency.
Managers through the Ready Campaign will spend the month serving and preparing people in these communities. But we can take action too.
To learn more about how to help this specific group for preparedness, visit Ready.gov.
Previous National Preparedness Month Campaigns
The Ready Campaign changes its theme and focus each year. For 2022, the theme was "A Lasting Legacy."
This theme focused on encouraging Americans to prepare for disasters to ensure a long family legacy.
In 2021, the theme for emergency preparedness month was "Prepare to Protect" with an emphasis on helping the Latino community.
That September was spent ensuring Spanish speakers had the resources and information to prepare for disasters.
Each year the focus changes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't all take notice.
Disaster Preparedness Month for All
While the primary focus for 2023 National Preparedness Month is the elderly, this is a good time for all of us to better prepare for a natural or man-made disaster.
We talk a lot about emergency preparedness because we believe it’s important.
Since Berkey is an ideal water filtration system in an emergency, that's another reason we often focus on preparedness.
Berkey systems are portable and easy to assemble and disassemble. They also filter out more than 200 contaminants.
So, in a situation where the water supply is suspect, you don't have to worry about consuming toxins with a Berkey.
Other Ways to Prepare for a Disaster
Clean water is crucial, but there are many steps you can, and should, take to prepare for a disaster.
Preparedness month is the perfect time to think about these things and act.
According to the National Safety Council, here are some steps you can take to prepare this month.
- Develop a family communication plan
- Have an emergency supply kit or these 5 go bag essentials in your car or home
- Make sure at least one family member knows basic first aid and CPR
FEMA also has an app that includes helpful information, including weather alerts, shelter locations, and preparation advice.
It doesn't take much time or effort to take steps that help you and your family feel more prepared for an emergency.
Plan During Emergency Preparedness Month
Throughout the month of September, spend time thinking about emergency preparedness for you and your loved ones.
Consider the elderly in your life and take steps to help them as well. They are in many ways more vulnerable than the average citizen.
We can show love and kindness to others by preparing them for potential disasters.
Natural or man-made emergencies can be scary. They can be life-threatening.
But as long as we are prepared, we are more likely to better handle those emergencies physically, mentally, and emotionally.