Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Ready Campaign host “National Preparedness Month” – an effort to improve individual and community preparedness towards disasters. In 2016, National Preparedness Month is a timely reminder that we all need to be better prepared. In the past two months, there have been earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and severe weather that have caused damage and loss of life in the Midwest and Southeast United States. From Hurricane Hermine to the historic flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the moderate M5.8 earthquake near Pawnee, Oklahoma, these events have impacted thousands of individuals. While natural disasters cannot be prevented, many of their impacts can. On a community level, it is important to adopt and enforce modern building codes, which take into account local hazards, to reduce deaths and injuries, as well as improve community resiliency. On an individual level, being prepared for a disasters can be accomplished in a variety of ways. From making communications plans to reconnect with family members, to building disaster supply kits, to taking first aid training, citizens can play an important role in improving their own ability to respond following an event.
Following National Preparedness Month, CUSEC will again be participating in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, set for Thursday October 20 at 10:20AM, local time. The ShakeOut is another dedicated time to practice how to be prepared and stay safe, for earthquakes and other disasters. In 2015, more than 40 million people participated in ShakeOut drills around the globe, practicing how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in the event of an earthquake. We encourage everyone to learn how to stay safe and how to participate in the ShakeOut by visiting www.shakeout.org/centralus.