September is National Preparedness Month: How you can get involved

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2023

September is National Preparedness Month, a time when people are encouraged to prepare for natural disasters.

Hurricane season is at its peak, and with the change of seasons from summer to fall comes an increased risk of tornadoes.

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is FEMA’s national annual preparedness outreach. NPM is managed and sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign. The Ready Campaign, in conjunction with the Ad Council, aims to educate and empower Americans during NPM and throughout the year to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

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National Preparedness Month culminates on Sept. 30 with National Preparedness Day, the national day of action.

District 2 Congressional Rep. Bennie Thompson marked the start of National Preparedness Month with a press release.

Thompson is a ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security. He also co-chairs the National Preparedness Month with Louisiana Rep. Troy Carter.

“Climate change is increasing extreme weather events across the Nation. Recent examples include the Maui wildfires, the worst wildfires in over 100 years, and extreme heat that has impacted millions nationwide. Just this March, a tornado outbreak devastated communities across Mississippi, including in my district,” Thompson said. “To face this growing threat, it is imperative that the Federal government works with its partners to increase preparedness for disasters at all levels of government, which includes ensuring that those who are disproportionally impacted by disasters, including racial minorities, rural areas, low-income communities, tribes, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and children are included in emergency preparation, response, and recovery. I am honored to serve as Co-Chair during the 2023 National Preparedness Month and look forward to working with FEMA and DHS to ensure there is more equity in emergency management.”

The National Weather Service is also participating in NPM.

Residents who haven’t taken the time to think about how different disasters could affect them are challenged to take the necessary steps to become informed and develop a family plan for such events.

These simple steps could save lives:

1. Learn your risks and responses (be informed). Have a weather app on your phone, get a NOAA weather radio follow NWS for your area on social media.

2. Make a plan. It is important to make a family (including adults, children, elderly disabled individuals and pets) emergency plan that can be put into action as soon as disaster strikes.

3. Build an emergency supply kit. A supply kit is a must when planning for potential disasters. You will need necessary food and other supplies to sustain everyone in your family until power is restored or help arrives. Check your emergency kit at least once a year and replace anything including batteries with past-due expiration dates. Place your kit in the same area where you plan to shelter in place. Recommended supplies for emergency kit.

4. Get involved in promoting preparedness in your community.

Find out if your community has Citizen Corps or volunteer with Red Cross or CERT.

For more information on National Preparedness Month, visit: