September is National Preparedness Month

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Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

September is National Preparedness Month, an annual nationwide campaign that encourages all Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. The Prince William County Office of Emergency Management is launching Ready Prince William, a robust outreach campaign that encourages individuals and families to follow four simple steps to prepare
before a disaster strikes.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee states, “People often become complacent when there’s a lapse in time from one disaster to the next believing that ‘it can’t happen here,’ or ‘it won’t happen to me and my family.’ National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder that it’s everyone’s responsibility to be ready for an emergency.”

Throughout September, Ready Prince William will highlight four steps to preparedness: build a kit, make a plan, stay informed, and get involved with community partners.

  • Build a Kit (September 3-10)
    o Gather essential supplies to be able to survive for three to seven days on your own without assistance; click here for the list.
    o After gathering basic items like food, water and medications, consider additional needs your family might have, such as supplies to care for pets, infants, seniors, or individuals with access and functional needs.
  • Make a Plan (September 11-17)
    o Individuals, families, and businesses are encouraged to make or update their emergency plan and give a copy to everyone on your communications list. Utilize the resources here to assist you.
    o When a disaster occurs, you may become separated from family members or unable to return home; make plans to call family or friends out of town and decide where you and your family will meet.
  • Stay Informed (September 11-17)
    o Learn about the threats and hazards that affect Prince William County, your neighborhood, and your home.
    o Sign up for emergency alerts by texting “PWCALERTS” to 888-777 from a mobile phone or visiting This is a free service, but your carrier’s message and data rates may apply.
    o When you receive an alert or warning, listen to instructions from officials; be prepared to take action and implement your emergency plan!
  • Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger (September 25 – 30)
    • Learn ways to get involved during and after a disaster. There are several Prince William County community partners that you can join:
      • Volunteer Prince William
      • Prince William County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES/RACES)
      • Prince William Health District Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
      • American Red Cross of the National Capital Region
    • Participate in Public Safety Day on Saturday, September 30th from 10:00 a. m. – 2:00 p. m. on Sean T. Connaughton Plaza, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge

For more information, visit You can also follow us on Twitter @PWCDFR or Facebook at



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