It’s a situation everyone has experienced: The media and public safety agencies warn of an impending storm, chance of power outages, and loss of service. But you find yourself scrambling at the last minute for batteries, water, and ideas to keep your family entertained. Disasters don’t plan ahead — even during a pandemic — but you can.
National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” As our nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better time to get involved.
Follow @ReadyArlington on social media and visit their Preparedness Month webpage to learn preparedness tips. Attend in-person, family-friendly events on September 15 at Central Library and Columbia Pike Branch Library, where you can play fun preparedness games, check out a fire truck, meet firefighters and 9-1-1 dispatchers, and get free preparedness swag.
Explore the month’s weekly themes, including discussing them with your children and family members:
Sept. 1-4: Make a Plan (Week 1)
Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the Coronavirus, and to register for Arlington Alert to stay informed of local emergencies.
Sept. 5-11: Build a Kit (Week 2)
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. See how to get supplies and be prepared on a budget. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
Sept. 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness (Week 3)
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up to date.
Sept. 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness (Week 4)
Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.