September marks the seventh annual National Preparedness Month. This year's event focuses on encouraging Americans to work together to take concrete actions toward emergency preparedness in their homes, businesses, and communities.
The Ready Campaign is a year-round public service advertising campaign of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Produced in partnership with the Citizens Corps and the Ad Council, it aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for, and respond to, natural disasters, potential terrorist attacks, and other emergencies.
An NPM Coalition composed of public- and private-sector organizations works to promote a culture of preparedness across the country. As an NPM Coalition member, the AVMA is committed to sharing preparedness information with its members and the public.
The AVMA maintains a Disaster Preparedness page at www.avma.org/disaster/default.asp that includes detailed disaster-planning resources for small and large animals.
To help share information about the campaign with readers, the AVMA has added an NPM gadget to the Disaster Preparedness page that links to resources for individuals and businesses, including a family emergency plan template, and invites organizations to join the coalition.
Some of the relevant things the AVMA has recently done for members were developing an emergency action plan for the 2010 AVMA Annual Convention, presenting a Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams booth at the convention, and presenting disaster-preparedness sessions during the convention. For the human health care sector and the general public, staff presented a talk on AVMA leadership in disaster and emergency preparedness for the profession, during a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinician Outreach and Communication Activities webinar and conference call in July.
The campaign's websites—www.ready.gov and www.listo.gov—provide Americans with free emergency preparedness information, such as assembling an emergency kit, developing a family emergency plan, and being informed. The toll-free numbers are 800-BE-READY, TTY 800-462-7585, and 888-SE-LISTO.
Citizen Corps is FEMA's grassroots strategy to unite government and community leaders and involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience. Learn more about Citizen Corps at www.citizencorps.gov.