DHS Gears Up for National Preparedness Month

The Department of Homeland Security will sponsor the fourth annual National Preparedness Month in September 2007 and encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. This year's effort has a growing coalition of more than 625 national, regional, state, and local organizations pledging support.

"It is vital that Americans take steps to prepare for emergencies at home, work, or school," said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Personal preparedness is paramount to effectively reacting to the effects of a disaster. By preparing yourself, your family, and your businesses, you allow first responders to prioritize efforts and aid."

This year, for the first time, the month will focus on different areas of emergency preparedness:

  • September 1-8; Back-to-School
  • September 9-15; Business preparedness
  • September 16-22; Multicultural preparedness
  • September 23-30; Home and family preparedness, including pets, older Americans and individuals with disabilities and special needs

Homeland Security Committee members, Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, and Representatives Bennie Thompson and Peter King, are serving as honorary Congressional co-chairs of the month-long events and will lead the effort to increase public awareness on the importance of emergency preparedness on Capitol Hill, DHS said.

The Ready campaign and DHS's Citizen Corps program work together to promote activities across the nation that will encourage individuals to have an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different threats that may affect them, as well as take steps to get trained and engaged in community preparedness and response efforts. National Preparedness Month coalition members have agreed to distribute emergency preparedness information and sponsor activities across the country that will promote emergency preparedness. Membership is open to all public and private sector organizations. Groups can register to become National Preparedness Month coalition members by visiting www.ready.gov and clicking on the National Preparedness Month banner.

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