National Preparedness Month Resources Available from FEMA

National Preparedness Month Resources Available from FEMA

Article Aug 31, 2012

No agency, or person, is ever fully prepared when disaster strikes. Your organization may be more, or less, prepared than others, but it will never be fully prepared because no two disasters are alike, and most come without warning.

That said, we write disaster management plans, run simulations and drills to be as prepared as possible. After all, the better trained an agency is to respond to a disaster, the less likely it is to be caught off guard.

September is National Preparedness Month, and this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with The Advertising Council, is presenting its Ready public service advertising (PSA) campaign with one clear message: “You never know when the day before is the day before.”

Only 60% of Americans say it’s very important to them to prepare for natural or man-made disasters, and just 17% claim to be very prepared for an emergency situation. FEMA recognizes the need to increase awareness about the importance of being prepared. provides information on what to do before, during and after an emergency; how to plan for emergencies and build an emergency kit; and how to get involved across the nation to support community preparedness.

EMS agencies should strongly consider incorporating some of these resources into their community preparedness campaigns, as well as their own disaster management plans. Because agencies are busy with their own efforts responding to emergencies and protecting their communities every day, FEMA has done a lot of the legwork to bring people up to speed quickly on how to prepare for, and respond to, a variety of emergencies, including natural disasters, pandemic, home fires, technological and accidental hazards, and terrorist attacks. There are resources for populations requiring specific considerations, such as people with special needs, infants and children, seniors, and even animals, as well as a straightforward list of “basic” supplies to include in a disaster kit and tips on how to maintain kits and where to store them so they’re accessible during an emergency. There are even resources for businesses and kids.

Among the helpful tools found on are instructional videos, and Ready campaign PSAs can be viewed and downloaded at These short, informative videos can easily be shared in your communities and include American Sign Language and closed captioning, as well as a Spanish version.

FEMA also offers text message updates during emergencies, which community members can sign up to receive. More information can be found at

Finally, consider sharing EMS World’s latest Community Health Watch column with your local media. These columns are free for you to use and brand as you wish to help keep your communities informed and safe.

UC Berkeley's Seismology Lab team developed the app to alert users of impending earthquakes so they have more time to prepare for safety.
The app will help teachers and administrators easily communicate during crises and are also being trained by law enforcement on how to act in an active shooter event.
The company launched a new series of demo webinars and released a comparison checklist resource to assist fire departments and EMS agencies in their search for a better records management system.
Leading EMS, Fire, Software & Data Company Named to Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America List for Fifth Year Running
Specifically created for the public safety sector, Aladtec's software helps EMS agencies manage complex shifts for their 24/7 coverage needs.  
Dictum Health, Inc introduces a new telehealth product line based on its patient-centric Virtual Exam Room (VER) technology, providing better patient care whether it be basic home visits or disaster scenarios.
Five hospitals — two in California, two in Arkansas, one in Colorado — gain access to EMS data in real-time, even prior to patient arrival, using Electronic Health Record-consumable formats.
The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) will track real-time overdose surveillance data so immediate responses can be activated when overdoses spike in frequency.
Officials are urging companies like Apple to activate the FM chips installed in cell phones so emergency alerts can guide residents when cell towers are damaged by major disasters.
DMI announces the launch of EndZone, a cloud-based platform for mobile-centric situational awareness, delivering increased responsiveness and efficiency in emergency situations.
First responders are encouraged to link the website to their pages, as the service allows users to reconnect with loved ones in the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Maria.
Residents who register with the program provide important details about health conditions and even bedroom locations so rescue workers spend less time searching for victims.
Inc. magazine ranked GD 2503 on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.
Developed with the help of paramedics, bystanders who witness a heart attack or cardiac arrest can use the app to send an SOS to nearby CPR-trained people, check if someone has called the emergency number 119, and alerts them of nearby AEDs.
Verizon brought responders together to see the benefit of new technologies.