(ATLANTA) – As assessments of the damage from Hurricane Ida begin, it’s a reminder that no matter the event, Georgians need to be prepared. To help reinforce the importance of being prepared, September has been designated as National Preparedness Month.

Throughout the month, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency’s (GEMA/HS) Ready Georgia campaign is encouraging all Georgia residents to prepare before disasters strike.

“National Preparedness Month is the time for people to develop plans and examine plans they may already have in place,” said GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings. “COVID has dominated the news for so many months now, that it’s easy to overlook the weather and other events that can impact our communities. Having a plan in place makes it easier to respond to natural and manmade disasters.”

Throughout National Preparedness Month, Georgians are encouraged to take a step toward creating a comprehensive emergency plan for themselves, their families and their communities. The Ready Georgia page of the GEMA/HS Website offer tools to assist people in creating these plans and lists opportunities to volunteer in your community following a disaster. Preparedness is not an all-or-nothing proposition, so taking even a single step each week toward creating a plan can add to a household’s and a community’s resilience in the face of severe weather events and other emergencies. The themes for each week during National Preparedness month are as follows:

Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the Coronavirus.

Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date.

Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

For tips and tools to get your family and community ready for a disaster, during National Preparedness Month, visit the GEMA/HS Ready Georgia page. Additional preparedness information is also available from your local EMA director.

As part of the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency collaborates with local, state and federal governments in partnership with private sector and non-governmental organizations to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. GEMA/HS’s website and preparedness campaign provides Georgians with the knowledge needed to effectively prepare for disasters. Go to gema.georgia.gov/plan-prepare/ready-georgia for information on developing a custom emergency plan and Ready kit.