The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign joined with more than 3,200 National Preparedness Month coalition members in the month of September to educate individuals, families and communities on the importance of emergency preparedness. This year’s coalition of national, regional, state, and local organizations was the largest in the five year history of National Preparedness Month, and represents a 4,000 percent increase in participation to date.
“We’ve made great strides over the past five years in encouraging Americans to take steps to get prepared and to get involved during National Preparedness Month,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “But, the civic duty we all share to prepare ourselves, our home and work for an emergency does not end in September. Disasters can happen at any time, and I urge all Americans to make personal preparedness a priority in their daily lives.”
National Preparedness Month began in September 2004 with 80 coalition members. Participation has grown steadily each year, to include roughly 1,400 coalition members joining in 2007. The largest area of growth has been from nonprofit organizations, followed by military, faith-based and health organizations.
This year, National Preparedness Month coalition members coordinated more than 420 events and activities across the country, ranging from seminars and fairs, to community outreach events, workshops, webinars, and training. They include:
Pennsylvania joined the growing list of states and regions that have localized the Ready Campaign by launching ReadyPA during National Preparedness Month. ReadyPA unveiled a web site and localized public service advertisements that direct citizens to visit www.readypa.org for local emergency preparedness information. ReadyPA also partnered with Wal-Mart to feature in-store displays with key emergency kit items and informational handouts in 84 stores statewide.
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM): ADEM highlighted National Preparedness Month by partnering with local sports teams. They displayed a new Mobile Communications Unit outside War Memorial Stadium for the Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Louisiana Monroe football game on Sept. 6. ADEM distributed literature and played Ready Campaign public service advertisements during the game, which had an estimated 60,000 people in attendance.
ADEM also held preparedness nights at Dickey-Stevens Park, a minor league baseball stadium in North Little Rock. The Ready Campaign’s public service announcements were played during playoff and championship games, and ADEM employees distributed brochures with information on how to put together a family emergency kit.
Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS): OKOHS partnered with Radio Disney to host a kick-off event at the Tulsa Zoo. Vendors distributed information and OKOHS handed out items promoting Ready Oklahoma and emergency preparedness. OKOHS and Radio Disney also held a preparedness competition for schools in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where the most “prepared” school in each district received a “Rockin’ Recess.”
In addition, OKOHS, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club partnered to host a statewide Emergency Preparedness Weekend from Sept. 19-21, when stores displayed emergency preparedness kits and provided preparedness information.
For additional information on National Preparedness Month 2008, please visit www.ready.gov.