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We've probably said it a thousand times, and we'll say it again: emergency preparedness is valuable for everyone. If every man, woman, and child in America took a few basic steps towards becoming more prepared for disasters, we'd be much better off as a nation.
Even if you're assured of your own family's preparedness, it's wise to encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to consider following in your footsteps. As much as we like to think of ourselves as independent, you'll generally have an easier time overcoming hardships as a community than you would in total isolation. And, if nothing else, it'll reduce the chances of your less-prepared acquaintances pounding on your door in a panic — or trying to take your resources by force — during an emergency situation.
In order to spread the message of preparedness far and wide, the U.S. government has designated September as National Preparedness Month. This year's overarching theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” As with previous years, this campaign is run by FEMA and Ready.gov with the ultimate goal of promoting “family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year.” National Preparedness Month is broken down into four weeks, each with a specific theme and associated educational materials:
Week 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs
Are you financially prepared for a natural disaster? Learn how to make a plan with CFPB’s tips: https://go.usa.gov/xPbJv
Week 2: Make a Plan
Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get started today: www.ready.gov/plan
Week 3: Youth Preparedness
Teach children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away from home. ready.gov/kids
Week 4: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness
Every community has voluntary organizations that work during disasters. Visit https://www.nvoad.org to see what organizations are active in your community.
Obviously, this campaign is targeted at those who haven't already taken the value of preparedness seriously — if you're a regular reader of our publication, that's not you. So, some of the recommendations are woefully inadequate by our standards. The advised “at least 3 to 7 days” worth of food, water, and medications is nowhere near enough for any substantial disaster. That said, it's better than nothing.
For more information on National Preparedness Month, go to Ready.gov/September. Even if you don't use the materials provided there to support your case, now is a good time to bring up the subject with your loved ones. They may be skeptical at first, but it's in everyone's best interest to consider ways to become more prepared.