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National Preparedness Month Toolkit

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2023 at 8:00 am

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.

The theme of NPM this year is “Take Control in 1,2,3” and, in addition to general preparedness messages, will highlight resources specifically tailored to older adults. The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, businesses, school and places of worship. It’s up to all of us to work towards a more resilient Tennessee!

In addition to promoting NPM through TEMA’s social meda platforms, Governor Bill Lee has issued a proclamation designating September as Preparedness Month in Tennessee.

Talking Points

  • National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year.
  • This NPM will focus on disaster preparedness planning, with an overarching theme that includes resources for older adults.
  • NPM is geared toward building awareness and encouraging Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship.

Make a Plan

  • Taking control of your preparedness journey is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Make a plan before disasters & emergencies strike:
  • Discuss with your household or family how you will communicate if there is an emergency. Have a plan for at home, work, and school.
  • #BeReady. Make an emergency plan today & practice it:
  • Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Find tools to start the conversation:
  • Houses, mobile homes, apartments, and high-rise buildings have different evacuation considerations. Make a plan for each:
  • Review, update, and practice your Family Emergency Communication Plan at least once a year, or whenever information changes. Planning in advance helps ensure all members of the household know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency.

Build a Kit

  • #BeReady for a power outage by having enough food, water, & medicine to last for at least 72 hours:
  • #BeReady when disaster strikes. Build your emergency kit and have several ways to receive weather alerts.
  • Disasters don’t wait. Prepare now. Include these items in your emergency kit:
  • Food and water
  • Any medications
  • Pet supplies
  • First aid kit
  • Keep flashlights and radios in a known, easy to access place in case of a power outage.
  • It’s not too early to teach your kids about emergency preparedness! Play the Build a Kit game and learn what supplies are needed for your own emergency kit. Visit:
  • We often think of just our homes in terms of emergency kits. Think outside the box! A vehicle emergency kit is a great idea. For tips on what to include, visit:
  • Take a selfie with your pets & include a printed copy in your emergency kit. If you get separated during a disaster, it might help you get reunited. #BeReady #PetPreparedness

Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

  • #BeReady. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim after a disaster.
  • What important documents should you have for an emergency? Download the free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, which will walk you through the planning process:
  • Plan ahead: how will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes? #BeReady with the help of these tips and free resources:
  • Set aside a small amount from each paycheck to go into your savings account. Find more tips to help you manage your money to be prepared for the unexpected:
  • Have multiple ways to get weather information. If you receive an emergency alert, act fast! Listen to local official and take the necessary actions. #BeReady
  • Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment.
  • Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.

Resources for Older Adults

  • Older adults can face greater challenges after a disaster. Resources are available to plan for the unique needs of each individual:
  • Talk to the important family members in your life. Have a plan that includes a support network and how to access medications after a disaster.
  • A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, important way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes.
  • Be sure to include a transportation plan if your family members need help evacuating. Remember to include any assistive devices you may need.
  • Make copies of Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards and store them in a safe, easy to access location. For more tips visit:
































Questions regarding this toolkit or National Preparedness Month

can be sent to Maggie Hannan and Kristin Coulter.