Preparedness is defined by DHS/FEMA as "a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response." This cycle is one element of a broader National Preparedness System to prevent, respond to, and recover from natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other disasters. Planning makes it possible to manage the entire life cycle of a potential crisis.
The National Response Framework presents the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies from the smallest incident to the largest catastrophe. The Framework establishes a comprehensive, national, all-hazards approach to domestic incident response.
We should all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training on how to respond during an emergency, and what to do when disaster strikes, whether we are at home, work or elsewhere.
- Make a family emergency communication plan, including pets.
- Identify an out of town emergency contact to coordinate information with family/friends.
- Get to know neighbors and check on them during emergencies.
- Keep copies of important documents in a secure place (digital or waterproof location).
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Be sure to include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Create a rainy day emergency savings fund, and keep cash on hand for emergencies.
- Download the FEMA App and set up local alerts.
- Listen to local officials by radio, TV, or social media and take action.