Wednesday, April 15, 2015

America’s PrepareAthon! 2015

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The overriding lesson I’ve learned after six decades on this planet – a good deal of which was spent either living aboard a sailboat, or as a paramedic -  is that things can go from good to exceedingly bad in a heartbeat, and often without warning.  

 

A tornado, an earthquake, a house fire, a heart attack, or an auto accident  . . . they can all change your life in an instant. 

 

While we can’t pick and choose what emergencies will befall us – we can elect whether or not to be prepared to deal with them – and so federal agencies like FEMA and READY.GOV work year-round to encourage Americans to think about their risks, and to prepare for them.


Although we’ve seen a dramatic drop in natural disasters in the United States over the past few years, Emergency Managers know that lucky streak won’t last forever.  And the longer we go between severe hurricanes, a major earthquake, or some other big natural disaster  . . . the more complacent, and unprepared . .  our population becomes.

 

Between seeing September declared National Preparedness Month each year since 2004, a strong push for hurricane preparedness in late May each year (see Hurricane Preparedness Week 2014), and numerous Shakeout.org  earthquake drills (see NPM14: The Advantages Of Having A Shaky Preparedness Plan) each year, progress is being made.

 

Still, a 2013 Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness poll  found only about half who responded had an evacuation plan, 1/3rd had no home disaster supplies, and only about half reported having a family communications plan.

 

So there remains considerable room for improvement.  

 

To that end, last year FEMA and READY.GOV introduced National PrepareAthon! Day, which is actually part of a two-season campaign for better preparedness.  The spring National PrepareAthon! Day occurs on April 30th, while the fall component comes on September 30th at the close of National Preparedness Month. 


To learn how you can take part, go to America's PrepareAthon!

 

 

 About America's PrepareAthon!

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America's PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises.

National PrepareAthon! Day is April 30, 2015 and will revolve around taking the actions to prepare for these six specific hazards:

Campaign Goals

The goal of this campaign is to increase the number of individuals who:

  • Understand which disasters could happen in their community
  • Know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage
  • Take action to increase their preparedness
  • Participate in community resilience planning

What can I do?

  • Register to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! and provide details about the activities you’re planning.
  • Plan your own local community or organizational preparedness event
  • Participate in discussion forums online with like-minded community members
  • Learn the actions to take for disaster preparedness and practice them!

Where can I find more information?

  • For more information about disasters, preparedness, and ways to get involved in America's PrepareAthon!, click here to access the America's PrepareAthon! Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions.

Webinar: “Building a More Resilient Nation: National Preparedness Month and America's PrepareAthon!”

Stay in Touch

Email: prepareathon@fema.gov

Twitter: @PrepareAthon follow the conversation #PrepareAthon

To move people to action, the President, through Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-8), has directed all federal agencies to work with their stakeholders across the country to “coordinate a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness, including public outreach and community-based and private-sector programs to enhance national resilience…”

 

 

Although this is primarily an infectious disease blog, its secondary focus is on reasonable, practical, and achievable personal, corporate, and community preparedness.    

A search on `preparedness’ or `NPM  will return scores of earlier blogs, but a few recent examples include:

 

UK: 2015 Civil Risks Register
Tsunami Preparedness Week - 2015
Are You Ready For Tornado Season 2015?
Do You Still Have A CPO?

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