National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 4

September is National Preparedness Month.

The theme for week four is Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness.

There are several ways to get involved in preparedness for your community.

  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face. You may not have a local CERT team or training, but it is good training if it is in your area. Find your local CERT: https://community.fema.gov/Register/Register_Search_Programs
  • Learn about the hazards most likely to affect your community and their appropriate responses.  Most cities and counties are required to have an all hazards mitigation plan, which will list the hazards that your local government believes are most likely in your area.
  • Most every community has voluntary organizations, like the Lower Valley Assembly, a county posse, or local Red Cross, that work during disasters.
  • Take classes in lifesaving skills, such as CPR/AED and first aid.
  • Check in with neighbors to see how you can help each other out before and after a storm. You can download an OK/HELP sign to help with that purpose.
  • If you have a disability, plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services, public transportation or paratransit to identify accessible transportation options. www.ready.gov/disability

National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 3

September is National Preparedness Month.

The theme for week three is Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters.

Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time, often without warning. Disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts must take into account the unique needs of children, who make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population.

Starting or getting involved with a youth preparedness program is a great way to enhance a community’s resilience and help develop future generations of prepared adults. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers numerous resources that can help.

FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions. YPC members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects. YPC members also attend the annual YPC Summit in Washington, DC, meet periodically with FEMA representatives, and work to complete a number of emergency preparedness projects. The YPC members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national supporters of youth preparedness.

Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book

Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book is a joint product of FEMA and the American Red Cross. Prepare with Pedro is designed to encourage youth and their families to be better prepared for disasters by offering safety advice alongside crosswords, coloring pages, matching games, and more.

Obtain copies of the activity book, now in both English and Spanish!

  1. Download and print by visiting: Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book
  2. Order printed copies for free through the publication warehouse online or by phone at 1-800-480-2520 request publication number #2005 for the English version or publication number #2035 for the Spanish version.

Ready 2 Help

Ready 2 Help is a card game that teaches youth how to stay safe and help in emergency situations. Ready 2 Help can be played by 2-4 players ages 8 and above. Parents, coaches, teachers, and other youth leaders can use the game and companion book to teach kids how to react to emergencies in a fun and friendly way. The game encourages discussion about preparedness using five simple steps: Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Get Help, Give Info, and Give Care. Everyone can play and learn!

Obtain copies of the card game and companion book –

National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education

Developed by FEMA, the U.S. Department of Education, and the American Red Cross, the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education presents nine steps partners can take to help build a Nation of prepared youth. The steps focus on building partnerships to enhance youth preparedness learning programs; connecting young people with their families, communities, first responders, and other youth; and increasing preparedness at school.

9 Priority Steps for Creating a Nation of Prepared Youth

  1. Elevate the importance of youth preparedness learning programs at the national, state, and local levels.
  2. Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of existing and new youth preparedness programs.
  3. Support the implementation of youth preparedness learning programs.
  4. Create positive relationships between youth and the first responder community.
  5. Link youth preparedness to family and community participation, especially in communities where English may not be the first language spoken (or understood) among adults, in other underrepresented communities, and inclusive of individuals with access and functional needs.
  6. Make school preparedness a key component of youth preparedness.
  7. Build and strengthen productive partnerships among stakeholder agencies and organizations.
  8. Identify opportunities to embed youth preparedness in youth culture.
  9. Design a sustaining, locally driven model for developing, designing, and delivering programming.

Join the National Strategy Movement

Help us propel the youth preparedness movement! By aligning your organization’s activities with one or more of the National Strategy’s nine priority steps, you are joining a network of prominent public- and private-sector organizations that are dedicated to promoting youth preparedness and building a more resilient Nation. Find out how to affirm the National Strategy, or email FEMA-Youth-Preparedness@fema.dhs.gov for more information.

National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 2

September is National Preparedness Month.

The theme for week two is Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters.

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

National Preparedness Month 2019 – Week 1

September is National Preparedness Month.

This week’s theme is Save Early for Disaster Costs.

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.

  1. Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information.
  2. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
  3. Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
  4. Scroll down for more helpful financial preparedness tips and download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) to get started planning today.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope and FEMA to help you prepare financially and provide tips to reduce the impact disasters can leave you with financially.

For Organizations 

Encourage people throughout your organization to be financially prepared. Here are some ideas to promote financial preparedness in your organization:

  • Hold a brown bag meeting or
  • Make a presentation at an existing staff meeting using the Emergency Preparedness Financial First Aid Kit PowerPoint and use the Safeguarding Your Valuables Facilitator Guide to support your discussion.
  • Include financial preparedness information in the staff monthly newsletter.

At Home

Using the EFFAK as a guide, or by downloading a secure mobile app on your phone, store important documents either in a safety deposit box, an external drive, on the cloud to make it easy to access during a disaster.

Having your financial and medical records and important contact information will be crucial to help you start the recovery process quickly. Take time now to safeguard these critical documents.

Household Identification

  • Photo ID to prove identity of household members
  • Birth certificate to maintain or re-establish contact with family members
  • Social security card to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
  • Military service
  • Pet ID tags

Financial and Legal Documentation

  • Housing Payments to identify financial records and obligations
  • Insurance policies to re-establish financial accounts
  • Sources of income to maintain payments and credit
  • Tax statements to provide contact information for financial and legal providers & apply for FEMA disaster assistance

Medical Information

  • Physician information to provide doctors with health information if medical care is needed
  • Copies of health insurance information to ensure existing care continues uninterrupted
  • Immunization records
  • Medications

Insurance Information

Having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace whatever is damaged.  Document and insure your property now.

Household Contact information

  • Banking Institutions
  • Insurance agent
  • Health professionals
  • Service providers
  • Place of worship

Get your benefits electronically

A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks.

Register for Sept 4 ,2019 Financial Preparedness Webinar
Register for Emergencies and Disasters: Are You Financially Prepared? Wednesday, September 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM PDT – 10:30:00 AM PDT