Learn how to prepare your family and community

Every September, the United States observes National Preparedness Month as a reminder of the significance of proactive planning and community engagement in the face of adversity. This initiative calls for individuals, families, and communities to assess their readiness and take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. National Preparedness Month encompasses prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare the United States for all threats – whether they are natural or man-made disasters.

The concept of preparedness extends far beyond stockpiling canned goods. It involves a holistic approach encompassing mental, physical, and logistical readiness. At the individual level, being prepared means having a well-thought-out plan that addresses each person’s and family’s unique needs. This includes knowing how to contact loved ones during a crisis, understanding the emergency procedures of workplaces and schools, and having essential supplies readily available.

National Preparedness Month was established in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In response to the9/11 attacks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collaborated to establish a nationwide campaign aimed at raising awareness about emergency preparedness. FEMA’s “Ready” campaign was launched in 2003 as a national public service campaign to educate and empower Americans to prepare and respond to emergencies.

Tips to Prepare for an Emergency

Ready.gov (for Spanish, see Listo) asks individuals to do four things:

  1. Stay informed about the different type of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
  2. Make a family emergency plan.
  3. Build an emergency supply kit.
  4. Get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.

Each year, National Preparedness Month focuses on a specific theme that highlights an aspect of preparedness and resilience. These themes are selected to address evolving challenges and empower individuals and communities with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate emergencies effectively. This year’s theme is Preparing Older Adults for Disaster.

Available Stress Counseling Services

Magellan Federal has proudly been providing stress counseling services to FEMA since 2001. Stress counseling is on-demand disaster-driven behavioral health stress counseling services to support FEMA employees while providing critical disaster response. Services include one-on-one counseling, employee management consultation, Psychological First Aid, assessment and referral, crisis intervention, program briefings, wellness talks, psychoeducational grief groups, and walkabouts. Since 2021, Magellan Federal has provided stress counseling services to over 40 disasters and 16,000 individuals.

Through awareness, education, and action, National Preparedness Month empowers communities to come together to share resources, knowledge, and support. Together, we can build a more resilient and secure future for ourselves and our communities. For more information about emergency preparedness and to start building your own emergency plan, visit Ready.gov.