This September: A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare.
By Darryl J. Madden, Director, Ready Campaign
This September will mark the ten year anniversary of 9/11 and we ask you to take time to remember
those lost as well as time to make sure you are prepared for future emergencies. September is National
Preparedness Month (NPM), which was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the U.S. It is a
time to prepare yourself and those in your care for an unexpected emergency.
If you’ve seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities
just like yours, to people like you. We’ve seen tornado outbreaks, river floods and flash floods, historic
earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions
of people for days at a time.
This September, please prepare and plan in the event you must go for three days without electricity,
water service, access to a supermarket, or local services for several days. Just follow these three steps:
1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care – water,
non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, battery-powered radio – for a checklist of
supplies visit Ready.gov.
2. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For
sample plans, see Ready.gov. Work together with neighbors, colleagues and others to build
3. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you from federal, state, local, tribal, and
territorial resources. You can find preparedness information by:
Accessing Ready.gov to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency
Contacting your local emergency management agency to get essential information on
specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information
before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are
Contacting your local firehouse and asking for a tour and information about preparedness
Police, fire and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are
down or if they're overwhelmed by demand from an emergency. 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
people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.
As FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate reminds us, "Individuals and families are the most important
members of the nation's emergency management team. Being prepared can save precious time if there is
a need to respond to an emergency." For more information on NPM and for help getting prepared, visit
Ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY, 1-888-SE-LISTO, and TTY 1-800-462-7585 for free information.
This September: A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepar