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  6. National Preparedness Month: Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community

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In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

National Preparedness Month: Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community

Release Date: September 13, 2017
September 10-16, is the second week of National Preparedness Month. This week’s theme is having a Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community. Comprehensive preparedness requires the whole community to participate. When the whole community comes together we can often meet the needs of everyone.
During this week, get to know your neighbors and prepare an emergency plan for your neighborhood. The Community Preparedness Toolkit provides step-by-step directions along with useful resources for making your community, safer, more resilient, and better prepared. The toolkit can be used to develop a community-based approach to preparedness, such as a Citizen Corps Council. You can also take the Community Preparedness: Simple Activities for Everyone training available at FEMA.gov. The training provides a number of tools and strategies that can be used to assist you in preparing a plan for your community.
The Community Emergency Response Team
Want to contribute more to your local community? The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. These skills include fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is built and enhanced.
Things to Know About CERT :
  • CERT volunteers are trained to respond safely, responsibly, and effectively to emergency situations, but they can also support their communities during non-emergency events as well. 
  • There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained since CERT became a national program. 
  • FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team Program trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face. You can find a CERT program near you on Ready.gov
We cannot know when or where the next disaster will hit, but we can take steps now to be better prepared. Almost half of Americans expect to rely a great deal on their neighbors and community members after a disaster so why not start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies.
2017 National Preparedness Month Logo
(DHS Photo by /Released)
Visit ready.gov/september for more tips and information. Each step we take to become better prepared will make a real difference in how our families and communities will respond when faced with the unexpected. Remember, a prepared people is a prepared nation.
Last Updated: 08/02/2021
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