Letter: September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month – the annual campaign to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses and communities. We want to encourage you – as individuals and families – to prepare during the month of September but we also want to encourage you and your family to make preparedness a part of your daily life every day moving forward. Here are three easy steps for you and your family to take to get involved and be better prepared:
Step 1: Implement simple preparedness activities: FEMA has made available to the public, free training and resources to help you and your family to take action and implement simple preparedness activities. Some of the simple activities include:
- Creating a no-cost or low-cost disaster kit: http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
- Preparing for utility outages: http://emilms.fema.gov/IS909/assets/14_GoingOffGrid.pdf
- How to use a fire extinguisher: http://emilms.fema.gov/IS909/assets/09_PuttingOutFires.pdf.
Step 2: Take a free online preparedness course: FEMA’s “IS-909 Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone” training course will introduce you to a program for promoting individual and community preparedness through simple and engaging activities. The course is free, available online and is designed for anyone to use.
Step 3: Become a Minnesota Responds volunteer: Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health is looking for anyone willing to volunteer their skills in the event of a health emergency. To become a volunteer you must first register with the program at www.mnresponds.org or by calling your local MN Responds Coordinator at STG Public Health for a paper registration at 320-208-6670. Upon becoming a volunteer, you will be asked to attend an orientation or other training to help prepare you. If and when activation becomes necessary, the program coordinator will contact volunteers to determine availability. You are never required to volunteer unless you are available and feel comfortable about responding.
Help your community now. Prepare individually or as a family. Become a volunteer in your community. In a public health emergency, we’ll need you!