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Emergency Preperation

Throughout September there will be activities across the country to promote emergency preparedness. More than 3,000 organizations – national, regional, and local public and private organizations – are supporting emergency preparedness efforts and encouraging all Americans to take action.

ou can join the effort by following four steps:

September 2010 marks the seventh annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.

During September, emergency preparedness will focus on:

Photo: Children by a Fire Truck.Home and family preparedness, including pets, older Americans, and individuals with disabilities and special needs (Ready AmericaExternal Web Site Icon)
Back-to-school (Ready KidsExternal Web Site Icon)
Business preparedness (Ready BusinessExternal Web Site Icon)
Preparación en Español (Listo AmericaExternal Web Site Icon)

In collaboration with the American Red Cross, CDC's Web site, Emergency Preparedness and You identifies and answers common questions about preparing for unexpected events, including:

Additional information and resources are available from Emergency Preparedness and Response under topics such as hurricane preparedness, extreme heat, and bioterrorism. CDC continually updates information on recent outbreaks and incidents and lists emergency resources for the general public as well as for clinicians and public health professionals.

Are you prepared? During September, focus on being ready – at home, at work, and in your community – and prepare for a natural disaster or other emergency.

Get an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit includes the basics for survival: fresh water, food, clean air, and warmth. You should have enough supplies to survive for at least three days. Review the items recommended for a disaster supplies kit or print the Homeland Security Emergency Supply checklist Adobe PDF file [PDF - 324 KB]External Web Site Icon.

Make an Emergency Plan

Photo: Emergency drill.Make plans with your family and friends in case you're not together during an emergency. Discuss how you'll contact each other, where you'll meet, and what you'll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan {PDF - 521 KB] Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon.

Ask about planning at your workplace and your child's school or daycare center. The US Department of EducationExternal Web Site Icon gives guidelines for school preparedness. Workers at small, medium, and large businesses should practice for emergencies of all kinds. See Ready BusinessExternal Web Site Icon for more information.

Be Informed

Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Check Ready AmericaExternal Web Site Icon community and state information to learn about resources in your community.

Get InvolvedExternal Web Site Icon

Illustration:, September is National Preparedness Month.Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders. Contact Citizens CorpsExternal Web Site Icon, which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation.

Homeland Security promotes emergency preparedness throughout the year via the Ready America campaign. Checklists, brochures, and videos are available in EnglishExternal Web Site Icon and in SpanishExternal Web Site Icon online and by phone (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO).

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