Every day of the year is a great time to prepare yourself, your family, and your community for a crisis of any kind, but September is specifically recognized in the United States as National Preparedness Month. Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now is the perfect time to get involved and improve your emergency preparedness wherever possible.
What is National Preparedness Month?
Through campaigns organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month’s purpose is to spread awareness and educate Americans on important safety measures, including how to handle and be better equipped for disasters and emergencies when they arise.
The holiday was officially created by FEMA in September 2004, in response to one of the most horrific crises the United States and the world had ever seen: September 11, 2001. Almost a decade later, National Preparedness Month has broadened its reach in terms of community preparedness and workplace safety, touching on topics like prevention, protection, response, evacuation, and recovery efforts.
“We’ve always lived in an uncertain world with ever-emerging threats, but being prepared is especially important these days.” William N. Bryan, Senior Official for the US Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement on the first of the month. “The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the point that we must all be ready to adapt to change.”
How to Participate in National Preparedness Month 2020
The theme for National Preparedness Month 2020 is: “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” This year is particularly important as it’s forcing communities and businesses alike to closely examine their emergency preparedness plans through the lens of the pandemic, evaluate any necessary changes, and adjust accordingly.
To get started with National Preparedness Month, we recommend reviewing the Department of Homeland Security’s website, which lists a number of activities and resources to utilize throughout September and the remainder of the year, including:
- Steps to create an emergency plan
- Supplies needed to build a basic disaster preparedness kit
- Resources to help teach children about potential disasters
- Safety videos and social media graphics
- Links to additional resources and emergency preparedness publications
- Information on the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips
As an individual, it’s also helpful to take the time to learn life-saving skills like CPR and first aid. You can also check your insurance policies for information related to specific disasters like flood, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
As an employer, small business, or corporation, you have a responsibility to ensure that your facility is prepared with the necessary emergency safety plans needed and stocked with all of the essential supplies and equipment needed during times of crisis. This can include:
- First aid kits, stations, signs, labels, and decals
- Emergency evacuation route & fire exit signs
- Disaster guides, preparedness booklets, training materials, and/or evacuation maps
- Emergency lighting & flashlights
- Personal protective equipment
- And more!
A leader in the workplace safety industry, Seton offers a variety of emergency preparedness products to help keep you and your community as safe as possible. Shop our selection using the links above, or view our assortment of COVID-19 response products that provide safety solutions to the new challenges that the pandemic has brought to the workplace.