Better Safe than Sorry

Today’s guest blog is by Gwen Camp, director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division, which organizes America’s PrepareAthon!, a grassroots action campaign that works to increase community preparedness and resilience.

If a disaster happens, do you have a plan to get in touch with family members? Are you signed up for cell phone alerts so you can stay informed? Are your emergency supplies up to date? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then the time to get prepared is now!

The America’s PrepareAthon! campaign is here to remind you that getting prepared doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming, or hard. The America’s PrepareAthon! website, has FREE planning guides, toolkits, and creative materials to help you plan a preparedness activity for your family or community. Hazard-specific materials are available for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. Many of these resources are available in other languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and French.

Twice a year, on April 30 and September 30, America’s PrepareAthon! promotes national days of action, called National PrepareAthon! Days, to bring focus to preparedness. The April 30 National PrepareAthon! Day may still be weeks away, but individuals and communities are starting to take action now.

So, get started with one or more of these 10 simple actions and don’t forget to register your participation on We’re over 2.5 million strong and counting!

  1. Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts;
  2. Develop and test emergency communications plans;
  3. Assemble or update emergency supplies;
  4. Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions;
  5. Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class;
  6. Collect and safeguard critical documents;
  7. Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards;
  8. Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage (mitigation); 
  9. Hold a scenario-based continuity of operations tabletop exercise for your organization; or 
  10. Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.

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