The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that a record number of national, regional, state, and local organizations participated in its fourth annual National Preparedness Month (NPM). More than 1,800 NPM coalition members coordinated at least 1,000 events and activities across America, reaching individuals, families, and diverse communities with the message of emergency preparedness.
"This coordinated effort helps to serve as an important reminder to millions of individuals to take steps to prepare," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "The large involvement from the public in National Preparedness Month 2007 reinforces the fact that a greater proportion of Americans are recognizing the need for personal responsibility in preparing for emergencies before they happen. However, this preparedness message must continue year-round to everyone in America."
DHS's Citizen Corps and its program partners offered preparedness trainings and education, as well as opportunities for citizens to engage in efforts in their local communities. For the first time, National Preparedness Month was broken into four theme areas. Sample events are listed below by theme area:
Preparedness for Kids
- The state of Alabama held three Be Ready Camps, an educational experience for sixth-grade students focused on building preparedness skills for all types of disasters.
- The Farmington Hills, Michigan Emergency Preparedness Commission (EPC) held its inaugural Emergency Preparedness Essay Contest for fifth and eighth grade students.
- San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, Calif., each hosted events to encourage and educate business representatives from public and private organizations on ways to partner to respond to natural and man-made disasters.
- The Fresno Fire Department in California conducted a fire and life safety inspection for local business owners and distributed information on how to prepare their businesses and employees for emergencies.
- Neighbors in the West Adams Neighborhood Council area in Los Angeles, Calif., including Vineyard Recreation Center, CLASS Parks, and JBAC-LA Block Club hosted a Celebrate Diversity National Neighborhood Day, where participants learned more about preparedness and built emergency supply kits.
- The City of Orlando, Florida Office of Emergency Management and Citizen Corps program hosted and presented an Emergency Preparedness Workshop to the Hispanic-American Professional and Business Women's Association (HAPBWA).
Home and Family Preparedness
- The Utah Foster Care Foundation hosted its first annual emergency preparedness fair. Attendees put together an emergency kit for their families.
- The Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (ODMRDD) developed and launched a two-hour Emergency Preparedness training class, as part of ODMRDD's overall training program.
For a recap of additional events and activities that took place during September, visit the National Preparedness Month Journal at www.ready.gov.