This September 'You Can be the Hero'

  • Published
  • By Bradley Walker, AEDC Contributing Writer
September is National Preparedness Month. It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters. If you have seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We have seen tornado outbreaks, river floods and flash floods, wild fires, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

National Preparedness Month is a part of the committed effort to strengthen the United States' preparedness capabilities. The national preparedness architecture encompasses the full spectrum of prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare the United States for all hazards - whether terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Since September 11th, the US Government has taken steps to encourage all citizens to make their own survival preparations. September was chosen as National Preparedness Month, as the tragedies of September 11th highlighted to the nation the importance of being prepared.

Police, fire and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly in an emergency or disaster. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care. The more you are prepared, the quicker your community will recover. This September, prepare and plan in the event you must go for three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services.

Here are four steps you can take to "Be Ready':

Stay Informed

Information is available from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. The AF "Be Ready" App and TEMAs "Ready TN" App are excellent for planning and staying informed.

Make a Plan

Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your family.

Build a Kit

Keep enough emergency supplies - water, nonperishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and battery-powered radio on hand - for you and those in your care. Have you planned for the family pets? A stash of cash when electricity is out and ATMs won't work?

Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and places of worship safer from risks and threats. Community leaders agree that the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public, and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters.

Access to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency.