9th Annual National Preparedness Month
(COLUMBUS, OHIO) – Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security reminds residents that September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). The month creates an important opportunity for Franklin County residents to take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies that can happen anytime and anywhere without advance notice.
This year’s theme is Pledge to Prepare: Awareness to Action. The campaign encourages residents to turn awareness into action by getting involved in preparedness in the community. Preparedness is a shared responsibility.
Households, businesses and organizations should prepare to be self-reliant for three days without utilities, access to food and water, or response from safety forces in the event an emergency. Residents can Pledge to Prepare by staying informed, creating an emergency plan, having an emergency kit and getting involved.
“Emergency preparedness is the responsibility of every citizen in Franklin County,” said Michael R. Pannell, Director of Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security. “By making preparedness a priority and working together as a team, we can help ensure our community will be ready for any type of emergency or disaster.”
The following are local activities being held by FCEM&HS in honor of National Preparedness Month:
• FCEM&HS Volunteer Oath Administration, 6:00 p.m., Sept. 6: Director Pannell will administer the oath to volunteers completing the Franklin County Community Emergency Response Team (FC CERT) program.
The FC CERT program educates local volunteers about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact Franklin County. FC CERT volunteers will participate in a disaster simulated exercise immediately following the oath administration. FC CERT volunteers are also trained in damage assessment and flood fight operations.
Franklin County has over 200 citizens certified to assist in the event of an emergency or disaster.
• Outdoor Warning "Siren Watch" Volunteer Program:
FCEM&HS continues to actively recruit volunteers to add another layer of performance-monitoring of the county's outdoor warning sirens. Because their sound quality can be degraded by lightning strikes and vandalism, FCEM&HS tests the sirens at noon each Wednesday, monitoring them electronically for potential system errors.
To increase assurances the community is receiving adequate warning during a tornado emergency, the agency created the "Siren Watch" program. The program utilizes volunteers to monitor sirens in their neighborhoods and report online after each test.
The outdoor warning sirens notify residents when a tornado warning has been issued and alerts them to seek shelter. The Siren Watch program was created in 2009 and has nearly 100 volunteers. Anyone wishing to become a Siren Watcher can contact Angelo Nocera, Siren Watch Team Leader at email@example.com or call FCEM&HS at 614-794-0213.
National Preparedness Month was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness across the United States. The month is sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with the Citizen Corps, FEMA’s grassroots strategy to bring together government and community leaders to involve all citizens in emergency preparedness planning.