ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) —Disasters don’t have a “season”, they can occur at any time of the year. Be it a tornado, a large flash flooding event, wildfires, a landfalling hurricane, or countless other events, they can strike year-round. That is why National Preparedness Month was created. This was launched in 2004 by Ready, a national outreach program of FEMA, and takes place the entire month of September. Ready was launched in February of 2003 and is a national public service campaign. It was designed to empower and educate the public to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate emergencies.
The Ready Campaign wants individuals to do four things: (1) Stay informed about different kinds of emergencies that could occur and know the appropriate responses to them. (2) Make a family emergency plan, (3) build an emergency kit, and (4) get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.
Each week of September, the campaign focuses on a different aspect of preparedness, very similar to those outlined above.
- Week 1 (September 1-4) – Make a Plan
- Week 2 (September 5-11) – Build a Kit
- Week 3 (September 12-18) – Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
- Week 4 (September 19-25) – Teach Youth About Preparedness
September was chosen as National Preparedness Month because of the tragedies of September 11, 2001. The events that took place highlighted the importance of being prepared to the entire nation. September also happens to be the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, so preparedness is at the forefront of many people’s minds at this time of the year.
Many emergencies and disasters occur with little to no warning. Since most of these events cannot be predicted, it is very important to have plans and supplies ready. Here in the Big Country our primary disaster concerns range from damaging winds, heavy rain and flooding associated with severe storms, and possible winter storms like we saw earlier this year. But the time to prepare for these events isn’t the day, or even the week, before. The time to prepare is now. By starting to plan today, you protect yourself and your family, and can even inspire your friends and neighbors to do the same.
This month, we will have a story for each week focusing on the theme. Stay with BigCountryHomepage.com throughout the month to stay informed on how to be prepared when disaster strikes.