September is National Preparedeness Month
By Member John Long, Jr.
September 1, 2021

Message from Acting Secretary Elaine Duke on National Preparedness Month

Hurricane Harvey has reminded each of us that disasters can change our lives and our communities in an instant. Whether it’s a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, or a terrorist attack, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can be a matter of survival for you and your family.

President Trump has proclaimed September 2017 as National Preparedness Month, and I encourage everyone to participate. This year’s theme is “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.”

Everyone’s preparedness plans are a bit different, based on where you live, what kind of disasters are likely to affect you, and what types of care your family may need.

There’s a lot to consider. Do you have everything you need to stay safe at home? If you need to leave your home, how will you evacuate? Do you have a plan for your pets? If your family isn’t together when a disaster strikes, how will you find each other?

Disasters can be overwhelming to think about, but don’t wait until it’s too late to ask yourself hard questions, and come up with good answers.

Visit, which can help you create an emergency plan that fits your family and unique circumstances best. Once you’ve made a plan, practice it. When disaster strikes, you may only have a few minutes to react, so make sure everyone in your family knows what to do and where to go.

You can’t replace your loved ones. But you can help keep them safe by planning ahead. is a great place to start.


Elaine C. Duke
Acting Secretary