Last week, a Ready team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Citizen Corps visited the Department of Transportation to help spread the word to DOT employees about National Preparedness Month.
Having just marked the five years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast, National Preparedness Month offers us a reminder and an opportunity to take simple steps to prepare for an emergency in our homes, workplaces, and communities.
The FEMA Ready Campaign provides easy and practical steps every American can take. And, if you read no further on this page, I urge you to visit ready.gov to learn how to prepare, plan, and stay informed.
In setting aside September for NPM, President Obama said that during this month:
"We stress the importance of strengthening the security and resiliency of our Nation through systematic preparation for the full range of hazards threatening the United States in the 21st century, including natural disasters, cyber attacks, pandemic disease, and acts of terrorism."
Now, that's a tall order, and it may even sound a little scary to some, but the President is confident that, "By empowering Americans with information about the risks we face, we can all take concrete actions to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country."
And that's where the Ready campaign comes in. At ready.gov, you'll find easy steps to assemble the supplies you, your coworkers, or your family members can use during an emergency. You'll find a tool to help you complete an emergency plan for your family online that you can share with them. And you'll find a list of ways to access local, state, and federal resources to keep you informed.
Best of all, it's a very user-friendly site, and they even have a terrific kids page.
Look, I know that it can be uncomfortable to think about these things. But, even so, the Ready team that visited our headquarters last week did the employees of DOT a huge service. A few moments of discomfort can lead to a wealth of confidence if we all take responsibility to prepare ourselves and our communities for the possibility of an emergency.
Please, visit ready.gov during National Preparedness Month to learn what you can do.