CERT Program of Kirkland, WA

CERT and Citizen Corps: We Need You to Lead the Way on America’s PrepareAthon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Do your families, friends, neighbors and co-workers know what to do if a specific hazard impacts their community? Only about 40 percent of Americans say that they have a plan for what to do in an emergency. Citizen Corps Councils and CERT programs throughout the country are already playing an important role in changing this and making the nation better prepared for disasters. America’s PrepareAthon! is one more way that you can engage with the members of your communities and encourage them to become active partners in their own preparedness and resilience. As trusted local leaders, Citizen Corps Councils and CERT programs can spearhead this new campaign in their communities and help ensure that this is truly a grassroots effort that fully engages the whole community.

This spring, Americans across the country will be organizing and participating in hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, a nationwide, community-based action campaign to increase preparedness and resilience. America’s PrepareAthon! events and activities will be held across the country twice a year to organize community days of action and encourage individuals to discuss, practice and train for relevant hazards. The two National Days of Action will be held in the spring and fall each year. The first America’s PrepareAthon! National Day of Action is April 30, 2014, and will focus on preparing organizations and individuals for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires. The second National Day of Action this year will be September 30, 2014.

In order to join the campaign, Citizen Corps Councils and CERT programs should register preparedness events or activities online by May 16, 2014 at www.ready.gov/prepare. Councils and programs can either plan a new event or activity, or register something they have already planned, like an exercise. Eligible events and activities include planning for an emergency response or conducting tabletop exercises. All events and activities should share information with community members about the actions they should take in the event of a tornado, flood, hurricane, or wildfire in their community. A suite of free resources to help you organize, plan and support activities in your communities are available at the America’s PrepareAthon! website, www.ready.gov/prepare. These materials include hazard-specific “How-to-Prepare” guides, a Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warning factsheet, presentations, videos, a communications toolkit, customizable posters and digital invitations that can be tailored to your organization.  Additionally, online discussion forums are available for you to connect with your peers. Materials are also tailored to specific community stakeholders including K-12 schools, private businesses, faith-based organizations, individuals and families.

The America’s PrepareAthon! Campaign is built on proven initiatives, such as the Great ShakeOut and the Ready campaign. Research shows that real change is possible through experiential learning and when information is delivered through trusted community members like Citizen Corps Councils and CERT volunteers. Information about specific local hazards and practicing protective actions for those hazards can be incorporated into existing Citizen Corps and CERT trainings, exercises, meetings and other preparedness events and activities during the campaign. We hope you will take advantage of the many free resources at www.ready.gov/prepare. Please be sure to register your activities and events online to share the excellent work that you are doing to prepare your communities and to show your support for this new campaign to build a more resilient nation.

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