Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), the Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA), the Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP), and the National Weather Service (NWS).
"Disasters begin and end in our neighborhoods and home towns," said IEMA President Dave Wilson. "Local emergency managers help to ensure emergency responders in each county are ready for emergencies and disasters. It's important that citizens take responsibility for their own preparedness as well."
During Preparedness Month, HSEMD, IEMA, and SIP are urging Iowans to take simple steps to ensure they, their families, and their places of business are prepared. Those steps are make an emergency plan, build an emergency kit, and be aware of hazards in your area.
"The creation of an emergency plan for your business or family sounds like an overwhelming task to many people but, in fact, there are a number of free resources available to help you get started," said SIP Executive Director Dutch Geisinger. "Preparedness Month in Iowa is a perfect time to put your ideas on paper and help educate your family or your co-workers."
National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Kelsey Angle stresses that now is the time to develop and practice a plan before severe weather strikes. "Knowing what action to take at home, work, school, in a vehicle and places in between could save your life when severe weather threatens. Planning and preparing for the impacts of weather is critical to building a Weather-Ready Nation."
Iowa's Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.