?Be Disaster Aware? is theme of National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and Beth Freeman, Federal Emergency Management Agency regional administrator for Marion County and Kansas, hopes the month will serve as a reminder that disasters are unpredictable.

?This year, FEMA through its national Ready Campaign, will promote the theme, ?Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare,? by highlighting specific actions individuals and groups can take to prepare for an emergency,? she said.

The weekly themes will include reconnecting with family after a disaster; planning for specific needs before a disaster; building an emergency kit and practicing for an emergency.

Even though most people understand the weekly themes, Freeman said in a nationwide survey earlier this year, 50 percent of Americans haven?t discussed or developed an emergency plan.

?No reminder, activity or promotion will be as meaningful and as impactful as the one people take for their own life and for the lives of their families,? Freeman said.

This also means thinking beyond what?s immediately obvious and planning for those who may not be able to prepare or readily plan for themselves, she added.

For example, Freeman said, people who are disabled, those with limited English proficiency, seniors, or family pets could be included in that list.

?Connecting, having and practicing an emergency plan and being within arms? reach of emergency supplies all sound like small simple steps we can take,? she said.

?But they may actually mean the difference between life and death once a disaster strikes.?

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