September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), and many individuals choose to evaluate their preparedness and emergency plans during this month.
The Department of Homeland Security promotes this initiative every year, and the theme this year is “Prepared, Not Scared.”
The month is broken up into weekly tasks. The first week of the month is about saving early for disaster costs, the second calls for making an emergency plan, the third centers around youth preparedness, and the final week of September encourages individuals to get involved in their community’s preparedness planning.
According to www.ready.gov, the official website for NPM sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, families should make sure they have all of the insurance documentation needed in case a disaster ever occurs.
This includes taking photos of important documents in case they are compromised in that disaster. This week is also about saving in case of a disaster. The website plan recommends that people also save cash, as ATMs may not always be available after a disaster.
The second week of September is about making an emergency plan, practicing that plan, and ensuring one’s family is completely ready to follow through with that plan in case of a disaster.
The third week, youth preparedness, involves making sure children are extra prepared. Children should know how to communicate with their parents or guardians if they are not at home if a disaster occurs, how to dial 911, and should have a kit prepared with their medications, toys, and other comfort items.
The last week is about community preparedness, and Richland Public Health is this community’s resource for emergency preparedness and disasters.
Reed Richmond, Health Education and Communications Specialist at Richland Public Health, explained the importance of NPM.
“The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and place of worship,” Richmond said.
“All individuals should take time to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid, and check insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency,” he said.
Richmond also explained services that Richland Public Health offers.
“Richland Public Health also has plenty of local disaster information at our emergency preparedness page. It’s located under the “Your Home” link at richlandhealth.org: https://richlandhealth.org/home-health/emergency-preparedness/
The page includes 60 easily accessible Emergency Preparedness documents from the American Public Health Association. The site also includes a link to the Richland Public Health Emergency Response Plan, created along with the Shelby City Health Department.