Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on National Preparedness Month

“Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” That is the theme this September for National Preparedness Month, an opportunity for us to remind our families, friends, and communities to get ready for disasters and emergencies before they strike. Thinking ahead can save lives. So we are working to create a “culture of preparedness” nationwide, which requires all Americans to prioritize preparedness efforts in their daily lives. I urge all of you to take the time to evaluate your preparedness and learn how to protect your family so that if disaster strikes, you are ready. 

National Preparedness Month is divided into four weeks.  Each week we [FEMA] will publish recommended steps you can take to ensure you are prepared:

  • Week 1 (September 1 – 8): Make and Practice Your Plan
  • Week 2 (September 9 – 15): Learn Life Saving Skills
  • Week 3 (September 16 – 22): Check Your Coverage
  • Week 4 (September 23 – 29): Save For an Emergency

There are a number of resources available to help you implement the steps recommended for each week of National Preparedness Month. You can begin to boost your level of preparedness by taking small steps, such as discussing an emergency communications plan with your family over dinner, installing carbon monoxide detectors, reviewing your insurance coverage, or starting an emergency savings fund.

In addition to utilizing these resources, I hope you will consider taking part in the National Day of Action on September 15th. This is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to take an action, such as learning a life-saving skill or participating in an exercise or drill, to increase preparedness. Please visit www.ready.gov for more information and resources. And if you have the ability to help others, please consider joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

With these resources and training, you can be a lifeline for your family and fellow citizens. 

Thank you for all that you do to serve our country. 

Best regards,

Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security
With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.