September is National Preparedness Month: Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can

Is your community ready to deal with a Hurricane Harvey or Irma or another type of disaster? Have we gotten complacent five years after Superstorm Sandy? Think about it. To prepare, you must have a plan in place first. Then you can help members of your community find resources to make their preparedness plans. This September, National Preparedness Month focuses on planning, with the theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

To plan ahead, spend a few minutes reviewing the following information resources from the National Library of Medicine:


Week 1 (September 1-9): Make a Plan for Yourself, Family, and Friends

 Find resources for making personal preparedness plans: 

Week 2 (September 10-16): Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community

Now that you are ready to respond to a disaster, here are resources to help your community prepare:

Week 3 (September 17-23): Practice and Build Out Your Plans

Practicing and drilling plans are essential activities:

  • Find over 200 exercises to drill on, from NLM Disaster Lit® Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
  • Which of your apps will work without internet connectivity? You may not have internet during a disaster. Turn on airplane mode if you have it, or open your settings and turn off both Wi-Fi and cellular data connectivity. Now test your apps to see what functionality they still have, if any.
  • Bonus: try a new app from the NLM Disaster Apps for Your Digital Go Bag webpage.

Week 4 (September 24-30): Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger

Join the Disaster Information Specialist Network! It includes a discussion listserv, bi-monthly webinars, and free training to bring your skills up to capacity for supporting response efforts in your community.

Stay Connected:

“Register Ready – New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters” allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. To register, go to: