September is National Preparedness Month

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Provided by Prince William County

September is National Preparedness Month, an annual campaign to remind the community about the importance of emergency preparedness.  Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and they are not limited to hurricanes and pandemics. Earthquakes and winter storms can be part of the equation, as can terrorist attacks, heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes.

The theme of the 2021 campaign is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”  For the first time in its history, the Ready Campaign, in partnership with the Ad Council, identified the Hispanic community as a key audience, and will launch a series of Public Service Advertisements specifically designed to encourage preparedness within the underserved demographic.

Many emergencies occur with little warning, but the steps you take today to prepare could save your life, or the life of a loved one.  Each week, the Prince William County Office of Emergency Management will highlight a different step to help the community prepare for disasters.  This year, they’ll also be placing a special emphasis on the risks of urban flooding and the benefits of flood insurance.

Week one focuses on the importance of emergency planning.  Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster – particularly if you are unable to make it home safely.

Week two reviews the components of an effective emergency supply kit, which is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Review the list to build your kit, and make sure it is stocked with hand sanitizer and masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Week three encourages you to think about low-cost and no-cost preparedness by learning about the hazards in your community so that you can react quickly to them if you receive a local alert or warning.  It’s also a great time to review your insurance coverage to make sure that it will cover the hazards your home or business may face.

Week four rounds out the month with steps to teach youth about preparedness, including what to do if you are separated and tips for getting involved with your family’s preparedness.

For more information about emergency preparedness, follow County’s Ready Prince William campaign on Facebook and Twitter, or visit pwcva.gov/ready.

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