Every September marks National Preparedness Month–the annual recognition to remind every American how important it is for individuals, families, businesses and communities to prepare for disasters and emergencies that can happen at any time.
At Guice Offshore, our motto is always “GO Safely,” which represents our internal commitment of choosing to follow the safety rules and procedures versus having to follow them. This creates a mindset that is intolerant of any level of injury and cultivates a workplace culture of caring for our fellow employees and ensuring everyone goes home safely each day.
For National Preparedness Month 2023, everyone can make their own personal disaster and emergency plan (including business continuity plan), using the helpful resources at Ready.gov.
This year’s National Preparedness Month theme, “Take Control in 1, 2, 3,” encourages everyone to become more prepared in three simple steps:
- Assess your needs. If you have medications that need refrigeration, rely on mobility or assistive devices or have a pet you’ll need to understand how these variables will factor into what you’ll need to stay safe in a disaster or emergency.
- Make a plan. Once you assess your needs, you can tailor your plans to make sure your needs are met. This can include building a kit that includes extra medication, having a way to store medications in an emergency and planning for your pets or service animals. If you’re an older adult or work with and support older adult communities visit Ready.gov/older-adults and Ready.gov/es/adultos-mayores for resources. Resources for those who are disabled are here.
- Engage your support network. Reaching out to family, friends and neighbors can help you build a support network that can support you before, during and after a disaster or emergency. Share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your group, including a friend or relative in another area who would not be impacted by the same emergency who can help if necessary. Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home or workplace and where you will go in case of a disaster. Make sure that someone in your personal support network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies. Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your personal support network.
For more details and considerations on each of these steps, click here.
Business Preparedness Planning
Businesses and their staff face a variety of hazards:
- Natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
- Health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu.
- Human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence.
- Technology-related hazards like power outages and equipment failure.
The Ready.gov Business program here helps business leaders make a preparedness plan to get ready for various hazards. The Ready Business Toolkit series includes hazard-specific versions for earthquake, hurricane, inland flooding, power outage, and severe wind/tornado. Toolkits offer business leaders a step-by-step guide to build preparedness within an organization. Each toolkit contains the following sections:
- Identify Your Risk
- Develop A Plan
- Take Action
- Be Recognized and Inspire Others
More Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Resources
Following the 2023 Presidential National Preparedness Month proclamation, which acknowledges the importance of building a nation more prepared and resilient in the face of more frequent and severe disasters the country has endured in the last few years, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced this year’s theme would also put a special focus on preparing older adults and their caregivers ahead of disasters.
FEMA’s partners, emergency managers and all those who work with and support older adult communities to access a new webpage available in English and Spanish languages at Ready.gov/older-adults and Ready.gov/es/adultos-mayores for preparedness messaging, graphics and resources. FEMA also created a toolkit with key messaging, graphics and talking points to help uplift and amplify this year’s National Preparedness Month theme.
Last year, as part of FEMA’s ongoing approach to advance accessibility and cultural competency in boosting the nation’s preparedness, FEMA’s Ready Campaign and the Ad Council created PSAs developed specifically to reach Black and African American communities. The year prior to that, the theme was “Prepare to Protect” and was designed to resonate with Latino communities.
You could also help save countless lives by taking simple actions to prepare your community or organization for a disaster before one strikes. FEMA offers free trainings and education tools to train yourself and others on the best ways to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster or emergency.
- You Are the Help Until Help Arrives, designed by FEMA, are offered as online or in-person trainings where you learn the basics of how to save a life before a professional arrives.
- Teach preparedness curriculum in your school or childcare facility. Download everything you need for grades K-12 through our Ready Kids program.
- Promote preparedness online by sharing preparedness tips on your social media accounts with Ready’s online social media toolkit or public service announcements.
- Take a free online independent study course through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute or a CPR course through the American Red Cross and gain more knowledge to help your community become more prepared.
- Take FEMA’s OPEN training to prepare your Community Based Organization for emergency needs.
- Join a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and get trained on basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
For more information on how to prepare yourself, your loved ones and your community, visit Ready.gov.