National Preparedness Month is an annual campaign to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies and disasters. This effort is led by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is sponsored by the
Ready Campaign in partnership with
Citizen's Corp. This year's National Preparedness Month theme is, "Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today." The FEMA urges people to prepare for specific threats such as floods, wildfires, hurricanes, and power outages. The campaign will feature Public Service Announcements and multimedia products around 4 weekly themes:
● Week 1: September 1-5 - Make A Plan
● Week 2: September 6-12 - Build A Kit
● Week 3: September 13-19 - Prepare for Disasters
● Week 4: September 20-26 - Teach Youth About Preparedness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is actively engaged in preparedness initiatives that focus on the power of preparedness, which includes personal preparedness, pandemic influenza planning, policy and partnerships, and public health response. Also, see the CDC National Preparedness Month web page. When major disasters strike, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's Emergency Management page to access demographic and economic data for the impacted areas.
Connect with Families to Encourage Disaster Preparedness
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and FEMA are working together to ensure that all infants, children, adolescents, young adults, and their parents are prepared in case of emergencies. To do so, the AAP and FEMA would like to bring the conversation of emergency preparedness to pediatric practices. During office visits, pediatricians can remind children and their guardians to learn about potential hazards in the area, to create an emergency plan, and to build an emergency kit. The AAP
Family Readiness Kit can be used to supplement these conversations. Below are potential questions that could be asked during visits with families:
Do you know what hazards affect your home ad your community?
Do you have a family communications plan?
Do you have an emergency kit packed and know what it should include?
Are you familiar with the emergency plans at your child's school or child care program?
Additional way to promote pediatric readiness for families include:
Encouraging families to create a family communication plan for
Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, WhatsApp, Reddit, or a blog to send messages to your community about National Preparedness Month or how to prepare for disasters.
Supporting parents and adult caregivers in their efforts to
talk to children about disasters.
Improve Office Preparedness
Hurricane season is upon us, and pediatricians need to be ready to provide care for their patients even when normal business operations are disrupted. Advanced preparedness planning can mitigate risk, ensure financial stability, strengthen the medical home, and help promote the health of children in the community. The AAP offers resources for office practices: