Be Ready Be Ready
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Throughout September there will be activities across the country to promote emergency preparedness. Over 1,800 organizations – national, regional, and local public and private organizations – are supporting emergency preparedness efforts and encouraging all Americans to take action.

You can join the effort by following four steps:

Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed. Get Involved.

September 2008 marks the fifth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.

During September, emergency preparedness will focus on:

Home and family preparedness, including pets, older Americans, and individuals with disabilities and special needs (Ready America) Back-to-school (Ready Kids) Business preparedness (Ready Business) Multicultural preparedness (Listo America)

In collaboration with the American Red Cross, CDC’s Web site, Emergency Preparedness and You identifies and answers common questions about preparing for unexpected events, including:

Developing a family disaster plan Gathering emergency supplies Learning how to shelter in place Understanding quarantine and isolation Learning how to maintain a healthy state of mind

Additional information and resources are available from Emergency Preparedness and Response under topics such as hurricane preparedness, extreme heat, and bioterrorism. CDC continually updates information on recent outbreaks and incidents and lists emergency resources for the general public as well as for clinicians and public health professionals.

Are you prepared? During September, focus on being ready – at home, at work, and in your community – and prepare for a natural disaster or other emergency.

Get an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit includes the basics for survival: fresh water, food, clean air, and warmth. You should have enough supplies to survive for at least three days. Review the items recommended for a disaster supplies kit or print the Homeland Security Emergency Supply checklist ( 209KB, 2 pages).

Make an Emergency Plan

Make plans with your family and friends in case you’re not together during an emergency. Discuss how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan ( 645KB, 2 pages).

Ask about planning at your workplace and your child’s school or daycare center. The US Department of Education gives guidelines for school preparedness. Workers at small, medium, and large businesses should practice for emergencies of all kinds. See Ready Business for more information.

Be Informed

Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Check Ready America community and state information to learn about resources in your community.

Get Involved

Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders. Contact Citizens Corps, which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation.

Homeland Security promotes emergency preparedness throughout the year via the Ready America campaign. Checklists, brochures, and videos are available in English and in Spanish online and by phone (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO).