National Preparedness Month occurs each September to raise awareness and strengthen resilience against the effects of disasters and emergencies. This year’s preparedness theme is “A Lasting Legacy – The Life you’ve built is worth protecting.  Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.”

National Preparedness Month

It is important to raise awareness and encourage emergency preparedness because disasters could happen at any time, without warning, and have catastrophic consequences.

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to preparing for disasters and emergencies. Whether it is getting to know your neighbors, updating your contact lists, changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, or having extra food on hand for your pet, we encourage everyone to be prepared. There is no better time to get involved than National Preparedness Month.

Take these four steps to prepare individually, with your families, and as a community.

Make a plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster.

Build a kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs of each person or pet should you have to evacuate quickly.

Low-cost, no-cost preparedness

Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up to date.

Teach youth about preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Being prepared for an emergency isn’t just about staying safe during a storm or a disaster. It’s also about how to stay comfortable, clean, fed, and healthy afterwards—when a storm or disaster may have knocked out electricity. Being prepared means having your own food, water, cash, and other supplies to last for at least three days, and possibly longer if you are in a remote or hard-to-reach area.

Please visit the following resources for more information on family preparedness:

Prepare Your Families

Emergency Checklist (kids)

Red Cross: Teaching Kids about Emergency Preparedness

Financial Preparedness

Common Disaster Across the U.S.

Disaster Facts

A Lasting Legacy: Emergency Preparedness (video)

If you would like to be more involved in your community and offer acts of kindness and assistance during a disaster, click on the links below. You may also want to upload and check out the Nextdoor App on your mobile phone for the latest information in your community.

How Your Neighbors Can Save the Day (video)

You Are the Help Until Help Arrives: Training to Help Save a Life

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD): Volunteer/Donations

Start today and make a plan that puts you and your loved ones in the best scenario should a disaster strike when you least expect it.

By Kristin Daniel

Emergency management specialist for VA's Office of Emergency Management & Resilience

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Published on Sep. 12, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

Views to date: 2,967

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One Comment

  1. George Dorsey September 15, 2022 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Kristen, I have been advocating several years now for Veterans to receive a Free Disaster Preparedness Kit. I’m not financially in a position to get a kit. Is there any organization or agency that offers free kits to Veterans?

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