September is National Preparedness Month

SMYRNA, Del. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, joined Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, Delaware National Guard General Frank Vavala, and state and community leaders at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center to urge Delawareans to make sure their homes, businesses and loved ones are prepared for an emergency, as a part of National Preparedness Month.

September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” The Ready campaign encourages families to prepare throughout the year for all hazards during winter, spring, fall and summer. All types of emergencies that could affect your family or business including hurricanes, tornados, fires, extended power outages, school lockdowns – are all things that require you to be prepared to best mitigate the problem.

“National Preparedness Month provides us with an opportunity to talk about and take action on the risks we face, as communities and individuals,” said FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “FEMA and Delaware have a great partnership educating and informing communities and individuals to prepare for all hazards.”

“I always say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Sen. Carper, Congressional Co-Chair of National Preparedness Month. “That certainly rings true when it comes to preparing for natural and manmade disasters. We recently marked the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which made clear that we needed to make drastic improvements to our emergency management and preparedness. The good news is that we’ve come a long way in those ten years, but there’s more work to be done. I work hand-in-hand with my Congressional colleagues to ensure that our government is prepared to respond to disasters and save lives, but we can’t do it alone. I encourage Delawareans to take some time to make a plan, make a kit, and have a talk with your family or employees about what to do and how you will communicate should an emergency happen.”

Developing a preparedness plan and implementing a few simple steps can go a long way toward keeping your family safe or ensuring your business is able to reopen quickly following an emergency. FEMA’s Ready Campaign established four universal building blocks of emergency preparedness: 

  • Be informed – includes knowing what types of emergencies you should be preparing for and educate yourself on how to get information and warnings.
  • Make a Plan – plan what to do in specific types of emergencies, for example where would your pet stay if you had to evacuate.
  • Build a Kit – this includes having water and other supplies for a storm or power outage, but also making sure you have business banking info stored safely at home in the event of a fire. For a link to a list of supplies for a basic kit, see below or go to  
  • Get Involved – find opportunities to spread the word about preparedness in your community.

“Delaware has the finest first responder community in the country, and to ensure that our responders are available for the most critical and lifesaving events, it is important that each individual makes their own personal and family preparedness a priority,” said Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lewis D. Schiliro.

“While we observe September as National Preparedness Month, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and its many government, non-government, business, and volunteer partners work every day to protect lives and property,” said DEMA Director A.J. Schall. “We urge all Delaware residents to prepare their families, homes, and businesses also.”

“The American Red Cross urges Delaware residents to participate in National Preparedness month by ensuring they and their families are ready to respond should a disaster or emergency occur, said Patrick K. Delaney, Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross of Delmarva. “The Red Cross provides helpful tools and planning tips via Residents can also access emergency preparedness information in the palm of their hand by downloading the Emergency App. Our goal is to ensure our community is able to prepare for, respond to, and recovery from any type of disaster.”

Below is a list of basic supplies for an emergency kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger