Ready, Set, Prepare

Hurricane Harvey has devastated South Texas and parts of Louisiana, claiming more than 60 lives and damaging more than 200,000 homes. The La Tuna wildfire in California has caused the evacuation of more than 700 residents in the greater Los Angeles region, and made its mark in history as the largest fire by acreage to ever strike the city of LA. In the coming days, Hurricane Irma, currently classified as a Category 5 storm by the National Hurricane Center, is expected to hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, with possible wind speeds of up to 180 mph. While the impact and location of Hurricane Irma's landfall is yet to be determined, the National Hurricane Center believes it will bring life-threatening winds and storm surge. 

Extreme weather can occur anywhere, at any time. September is National Preparedness Month, a reminder that everyone needs to prepare for the natural disasters and emergencies that impact us where we live, work, and play. Luckily, there are things you can do right now to help prepare your family, friends, and community for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Make a Plan

If a disaster strikes, how will you get in touch with members of your household? Where will you go if you need to leave your home? Do you have the supplies and information you need? Don’t be caught off-guard: make a plan and make sure every member of your household knows what to do in an emergency. These tips and tools will get you started:

  • Create an emergency communication plan so that everyone has the information they need to get in touch.
  • Plan for your risks. Get the facts on disasters where you live and know what you will do if you need to evacuate
  • Build an emergency supply kit. Collect basic items you may need in an emergency.
  • Tailor your plan. Kids, older adults, pets, people with disabilities, and people with health conditions may need special assistance or supplies during a disaster.  

Lend a Hand

How can you help your community prepare and respond to natural disasters and other emergencies?

  • Participate in National PrepareAThon! Day on September 15 and join millions of Americans taking action to prepare.  
  • Volunteer. Many community organizations offer free education and training for volunteers. Learn more about opportunities with Certified Emergency Response Teams, American Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, and others.