Will you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster?

Every September, the United States observes National Preparedness Month to raise awareness on the importance of being prepared for disasters and emergencies.

Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning, like the recent fires in Maui or the hurricanes that have hit the East Coast. An emergency can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services — water, gas, electricity, or telephones — were cut off?

As a health care resource for your community, ensuring you and your team are ready for disaster will not only help your business, but possibly save the lives of your patients and neighbors.

Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. You can cope with disaster by preparing in advance and by working with your team and your family.

To get started, sign up for emergency alerts from authorized U.S. federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities. All major phone providers and some smaller providers participate in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) in the U.S. However, older phones may not be compatible, and some cell phone models require you to enable alert messaging. (Some mobile service providers call these messages “Government Alerts,” or “Emergency Alert Messages.”) Make sure your phone is set up to receive these important alerts.

You can also install the FEMA Mobile App to receive real-time weather and emergency alerts, send notifications to loved ones, locate emergency shelters in your area, get preparedness strategies and more.

Next steps include:

  • Making a plan for an emergency
  • Assembling an emergency kit
  • Maintaining your emergency plan and kit

You’ll find important resources to help you prepare for an emergency via the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Ready.gov website. You can also download FEMA's Preparing for Disaster guide.