Disaster can strike at any time without warning.
National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an annual nationwide campaign held during the month of September which encourages Americans, including the young, old, people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, to plan ahead.
Initially launched in 2004 as an effort by the federal government to increase the country’s preparedness capabilities, National Preparedness Month has grown into a pivotal reminder to mobilize Californians and all Americans to become proactive and prepare now and throughout the year for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit.
This year’s theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” was developed to emphasize that everyone can do their part in their communities to assist first responders by training how to respond during an emergency crisis and what to do when a catastrophic event occurs.
Spearheaded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), states may participate and tailor preparedness messaging to the disastrous challenges distinctive to their region.
In California, the range of disasters can include a mixed bag of events that vary from natural occurrences such as earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, mudslides, tornadoes and floods to acts of domestic terrorism.
When disaster happens in California, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), located in Sacramento, is ground zero for orchestrating emergency management and assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.
The Planning and Preparedness division at CalOES has a plethora of guidance materials and support information available to assist individuals and families, schools and businesses with developing a successful, all-encompassing preparedness plan for when – not if – the next emergency occurs.
Here are CalOES’s 10 Ways to Be Prepared:
- Identify Your Risk
- Create a Family Disaster Plan
- Practice Your Disaster Plan
- Build a Disaster Supply Kit for Your Home
- Prepare Your Children
- Don’t Forget Those with Special Needs
- Learn CPR and First Aid
- Eliminate Hazards in Your Home and the Workplace
- Understand Post-9/11 Risks
- Get Involved, Volunteer!
For more preparedness information resources, please visit www.caloes.ca.gov.