Sep 02 2015
As we mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we remember the lives lost and those forever impacted by the storm, and how we have changed as a nation in its aftermath. Hurricane Katrina was truly an unprecedented event, and one of the most devastating and costliest natural disasters in our nation’s history.
Hurricane Katrina made it clear that we were simply ill-prepared for a storm of that magnitude, and underscored the need for drastic improvements to our emergency management and preparedness. While we’ve come a long way in improving our emergency management and preparedness over the past ten years, there’s more work to be done. I continue to 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. Every American must take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones when a disaster occurs.
September is National Preparedness Month and serves as an important reminder for all Americans to be ready for potential emergencies by preparing, planning and staying informed of possible risks. I encourage all Americans to mark National Preparedness Month by staying informed, planning ahead and being prepared. By working together, we can become stronger and more resilient and better protect ourselves from future storms.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers information and resources to learn more about protecting lives, property, and communities before and during potential disasters. This year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”
Below are some tips from FEMA:
Communicate and Plan. Your family and loved ones may not be together in the event of an emergency or disaster, so have a plan to make sure you are able to contact and find one another. Complete emergency contact cards for adult family members, and keep them on you in your wallet, purse or briefcase, car or workplace.
Stay Informed. Learn the types of disasters or emergencies that may likely occur in your area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood.
Ten years later, we must continue to heed the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, bolster our preparedness and response efforts, and continue to support the ongoing recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. We owe it to the survivors and victims of the devastating storm to do all that we can to keep Americans safe and secure from storms, and to keep history from repeating itself.