Monday, August 24, 2009

September is National Preparedness Month!

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236

FOR RELEASE AT WILL - August 24, 2009

Are you ready? Are you REALLY Ready?
September is National Preparedness Month

RICHMOND, VA –Being ready for emergencies goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks. Being ready means families can take care of themselves for at least the first 72 hours after disaster strikes. National Preparedness Month in September is a prime opportunity for Virginians to get ready.

Every family should have these items on hand:

Three days’ food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods
* Three days’ water (one gallon per person per day)
* Battery-powered radio with Weather Band and extra batteries
* Written family emergency plan
“This list is a good starting point,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “You can add other things such as a flashlight and first aid kit, but everyone should have the basics – three days of food and water, a battery-powered radio and a family plan. Get those things first, and you’ll be well on your way to getting ready for emergencies.”

Ready Virginia, a public education program that promotes emergency preparedness, seeks to educate Virginians about what it truly means to be ready for disasters and emergencies.

“Every family should sit down together and make a plan,” said Cline. “How would you contact each other if phone lines are down? Where would you meet if you couldn’t return to your home? Making a plan is free and simple and makes a big difference.”

Research shows that most people believe they are ready for emergencies, but 71 percent of Virginians do not have three days’ food and water, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, and a written family plan. Having these items on hand is crucial during the first 72 hours after a disaster.

For more information and worksheets to help Virginians get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and stay informed about emergencies and threats, visit or call toll-free 1-866-782-3470. A Spanish Web site is available at

During National Preparedness Month, which is prime hurricane and flood season in Virginia, new Ready Virginia public service announcements will begin airing on radio and TV stations to remind residents to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

Go to for more information about National Preparedness Month.

Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.
* Everyone should have a family emergency plan.
* Everyone should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least the first 72 hours.