Tomorrow, we’ll flip the calendar to the month of September. Since 2004, it’s been recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) by FEMA. NPM’s purpose is to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. This year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” Given all that has happened (and continuing to happen) in 2020, those words speak volumes for a number of reasons.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another—the way we work, the way we learn, and even how we socialize. Who would have thought last September that we would be wearing masks, practicing safe social distancing, or self-isolating today? Or worse, that nearly 6 million people in the U.S. would become infected with the virus and over 176,000 people would die with it in just 8 months?
Hurricane Laura just battered portions of the state of Louisiana. It came ashore as a strong Category 4 (nearly a 5) hurricane, and continued working its way up and eastward.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is the first one on record in which 9 tropical storms formed before the month of August and 13 before September. And, the season doesn’t officially end until November 30th. The National Hurricane Center has now identified yet another tropical disturbance in the far eastern Atlantic.
Meanwhile, numerous wildfires continue to burn in several states, chiefly California, and Colorado. In fact, more than 650 wildfires have burned more than 1.25 million acres in the “Golden State” since August 15th. And, the Pine Gulch Fire burning near Grand Junction, Colorado, is now officially the largest wildfire in the state’s history.
Add to these situations extreme heat, unprecedented flooding, and deadly tornadoes, among other things, and the need for emergency preparedness is even greater.
Preparedness starts with planning. So, as the theme of National Preparedness Month, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today” suggests, do what you must now to protect yourself, your home, your business, and your community later. No one knows what the future holds, especially for the remainder of this very unusual year.
Want to learn more about National Preparedness Month? Visit https://www.ready.gov/september.
Need help writing or updating your organization’s emergency, continuity, or hazard mitigation plan? Visit https://www.boldplanning.com. Currently, BOLDplanning is the solution of choice for more than 10,000 organizational plans in both the public and private sectors.