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As Irene Recovery Continues, FEMA Kicks Off Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month, Reminds Americans to Prepare

FEMA News Desk
Contact: 202-646-3272
For Immediate Release
No.: HQ-11-172
September 1, 2011

Americans Can Visit Ready.gov for Simple Steps to Prepare for all Disasters

WASHINGTON — As the entire federal family continues to support states and communities as recovery efforts for Hurricane Irene get underway, today Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate joined local emergency management officials in New York City to kick off the eighth annual National Preparedness Month (NPM), which falls every September.

Although this event was scheduled prior to Hurricane Irene, Fugate reiterated today that all of the recent disasters that U.S. have faced have only increased the need for a heightened focus on personal readiness and public awareness campaigns like National Preparedness Month. Fugate was invited to participate in the event by New York City's Office of Emergency Management and New York City's Citizen Corps Council, at the Times Square Subway Station in Manhattan to talk about the importance of family and community emergency preparedness.

"This year we recognize that September marks the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Last week's earthquake and Hurricane Irene, along with the deadly tornadoes and flooding this spring, are all important reminders that disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. By doing what we can to ensure that our communities, and our nation, are prepared to respond and recover from all types of disasters and hazards, we honor the memory of those who were lost that day. Visit Ready.gov today to take simple steps to prepare you and your family for emergencies."

Yesterday, Fugate and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were on the ground in New York and New Jersey, to meet with the governors and other state and local officials in each state, thank first responders and volunteers for their efforts, and tour damaged areas. Earlier in the week, Napolitano made similar visits to North Carolina and Virginia, and Fugate visited Vermont, to assess Irene's impact on local communities. Following today's event, Fugate met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss the city's ongoing recovery efforts.

National Preparedness Month is led by FEMA's Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council, and is a nationwide effort encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies.

This year's campaign theme, "A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare," seeks to transform awareness into action by encouraging all Americans to take the necessary steps to ensure that their homes, workplaces and communities are prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.

NPM is supported by a coalition of public, private and non-profit organizations that help spread the preparedness message. This year's record number of coalition members, approximately 6,000, are sharing preparedness information with their members, customers, employees and communities. By hosting events, promoting volunteer programs and sharing emergency preparedness information, coalition members can help ensure that their communities are prepared for emergencies. To become an NPM Coalition Member and find readiness events that may be taking place near you, visit: http://community.fema.gov.

This year, FEMA, the American Red Cross, the Ad Council and Google Crisis Response collaborated to launch a new preparedness web resource, Get Tech Ready. This new resource educates individuals and families about how using modern-day technology can help them prepare, adapt and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters.

Get Tech Ready provides Americans with tips on how to use technological resources before, during and after an emergency to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs. Preparedness tips on the website include:

  • Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available;
  • Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in the cloud or on a secure and remote area or flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere;
  • Create an Emergency Information Document using the Ready Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.

While NPM is held each September, FEMA's Ready Campaign promotes individual emergency preparedness at home, in the workplace, and throughout America's communities throughout the year. The Ready campaign is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies year round, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

The Ready Campaign's websites (ready.gov and listo.gov) and toll-free numbers (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO) provide free emergency preparedness information and resources available in English and Spanish. Additionally, through FEMA's partnership with the Ad Council, public service announcements are available to increase the American public's involvement in preparedness.

Follow FEMA online at http://blog.fema.gov, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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Last updated: 11/08/2011 - 09:26 AM