Written by Charlotte Porter, acting director of FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division
Members of the United States Coast Guard family live Semper Paratus away and at home, ready at a moment’s notice. But we all know that disasters, be they severe weather or man-made, have the potential to disrupt thousands of lives and affect our families. Maritime safety is the primary concern for the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants all members of our community to be prepared for the worst.
If a disaster struck today, would you and your family be prepared to act and stay safe? Do you know how you will communicate with your loved ones? Have you put together an emergency kit of supplies to help your family survive after the storm passes? Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today!
Launched as a national grassroots campaign for action, America’s PrepareAthon! increases community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific actions and exercises. We hope that participating in America’s PrepareAthon!, will encourage the Coast Guard community to practice what to do, where to go, and how to stay safe during an emergency.
In 2015, President Barack Obama declared September as National Preparedness Month and the last day of September is National PrepareAthon! Day. Across the Nation, communities, businesses, schools, U.S. Coast Guard stations, and other sectors of our communities are joining together to prepare for potential hazards, such as tornadoes, floods, and winter storms, power outages, and active shooters.
From ship to shore, at work and at home, it is critical that we understand what we need to do to ensure safety and mitigate damage when a disaster occurs.
Preparedness is a shared responsibility of our Nation, and the U.S. Coast Guard can help lead the way toward improved preparedness and resilience. While September 30, National PrepareAthon! Day helps provide a focus to our preparedness efforts, we all know that preparedness is a year-round activity. Visit the Ready Coast Guard website for online resources, including briefings and videos explaining how to prepare, factsheets about the wide variety of hazards, and brochures for making an emergency plan. Download the free U.S. Coast Guard mobile app, called “USCG HSWL,” which includes an emergency response section that presents the latest information in the event of a hazard.
If you’re looking for ways to prepare your boat, you can also download the “U.S. Coast Guard” app, which can give you weather and safety information with the push of a button.
Visit the America’s PrepareAthon! website, to register your activities. Download tools designed specifically to help you prepare for different hazards, such as tabletop exercises, discussion guides, and customizable promotional materials. We also encourage you to follow @PrepareAthon and promote your activities on social media using #PrepareAthon.
Be sure to check out the rest of the series highlighting how to prepare for specific emergencies and disasters: