Now is the time to make sure your family is prepared in the event of a natural disaster as National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, is two weeks away. NPM provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters.

Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornados. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.

2019 Weekly Themes

Week 1: Sept. 1-7 Save Early for Disaster Costs

Week 2: Sept. 8-14 Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters

Week 3: Sept. 15-21 Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters

Week 4: Sept. 22-30 Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

Make a plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1

Put together a plan by discussing these four questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

What is my shelter plan?

What is my evacuation route?

What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2

Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

Different ages of members within your household

Responsibilities for assisting others

Locations frequented

Dietary needs

Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

Languages spoken

Cultural and religious considerations

Pets or service animals

Households with school-aged children

Step 3

Fill out a Family Emergency Plan. Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4

Practice your plan with your family/household

Learn life saving skills

Web Resources

Know basic home maintenance to protect your family and home. Learn how to mitigate your home against flood damage or protect against the impacts of earthquakes.

Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.

Put smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly, and replace them when they are 10 years old.

Know the ways to keep your home safe from cooking, heating and electrical fires.

On National Day of Action, Sept. 15, hold a preparedness event. Some examples of events might be hosting a CPR class or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at your business, school, or house of worship; or volunteering with a local disaster response or recovery agency.

Check your insurance coverage

Insurance is the first line of defense; check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide.

Flood Insurance allows communities and families to recover more quickly and more fully. Visit to learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business.

Save for an emergency

Plan financially for the possibility of disaster.

Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)

Maintain emergency savings for use in case of an emergency


FEMA’s Prepareathon motivates people and communities to take action to prepare for and protect themselves against disasters. Its chief goals are to increase the number of people who:

Understand which disasters could affect their community

Know what to do to stay safe

Take action to increase preparedness

Improve their ability to recover from a disaster

Prepareathon events mobilize people to take an active role in protecting themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.

Moving millions from awareness to action

Since 2013, more than 147 million participants have practiced preparedness activities through Prepareathon events.

In the last few years, local communities have conducted more than 1,000 registered Prepareathon events.

Events focus on preparedness actions that are easy, quick, and affordable.

Test communication plans

Drill or practice emergency response

Access Alerts and Warnings

Document and Insure Property

Building Capacity on the Local Level

Prepareathon events and resources are designed to address specific hazards and give people the opportunity to practice what to do during an emergency. This practical, hands-on exposure helps build more confident, better prepared individuals and communities.


Prepareathon events:

Occur year round and can coincide with other campaigns, like National Preparedness Month

Educate children and adults about why being prepared is important

Reach out to include people who are disproportionately affected by disasters

Build people’s confidence in their ability to take preparedness actions

Train people how to take action at home, at school, at work, and at play

Connecticut Media Group