LIVINGSTON, NJ - September is National Preparedness Month (www.ready.gov/september), which aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies. This year’s theme, Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare, encourages people to be aware of the disasters that may occur in their area and then take action to be better prepared.

America’s PrepareAthon! was launched as a community-based campaign to increase emergency preparedness at the grassroots level by motivating the public to take action through such steps as drills, group discussions and exercises. On April 30, 2014 more than 5 million individuals participated in preparedness activities across the Nation as part of the first America’s PrepareAthon! The second America’s PrepareAthon! Community Day of Action will take place on September 30th and there are a variety of ways for communities to get involved.

Communities can begin planning their PrepareAthon! event by identifying the hazards that could happen in their area and developing their own! activity to address those risks. At an individual or workplace level, this might include actions like making a communication plan or building an emergency supply kit. Communities can take action to prepare by coordinating with local emergency management agencies, first responders, fire, police, or public health departments to develop a community-wide drill. Many communities in earthquake-prone areas around the country will be participating in the Great Shakeout, a worldwide earthquake drill on October 16th.

Once communities have identified a preparedness action, they can register their event on the America’s PrepareAthon!  website (www.ready.gov/prepare) and join millions of Americans who are doing their part to be more prepared.