PrepareAthon! encourages Americans to plan before disaster strikes

By DLA Public Affairs

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America’s PrepareAthon! is a nationwide campaign held April 30 to increase community emergency preparedness and resiliency through hazard-specific group discussions, drills and exercises.

The Defense Logistics Agency accepted the challenge of educating its workforce on national preparedness and raising security awareness and involvement with its 2019 Annual Preparedness Guidance. The Department of Defense also supports the national initiative, which enables the workforce to be better carry out critical missions in the aftermath of major disasters or emergency incidents ranging from earthquakes and tornadoes to terrorism and active-shooter events.

“A culture of preparedness is the foundation for readiness and resilience that supports DoD’s ability to protect the nation at all times, and within DLA, support for the National Preparedness Campaign bolsters our Strategic Plan and People and Culture Plan,” DLA Chief of Staff Kristin French said in a letter announcing the guidance.

The agency hosts events to raise awareness throughout National Preparedness Month in September, but the PrepareAthon! encourages employees to consider family and household emergency plans in the spring when disasters shift to includes threats such as hurricanes and wildfires.

The first step of preparing is knowing what disasters and hazards could affect the local area. Employees should then consider signing up for emergency alerts and warnings, develop a shelter plan and evacuation route, and share them with loved ones.

Employees can find step by step directions developed by the Department of Homeland Security for creating emergency plans at https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan. The website also contains information on creating plans for elderly parents, kids, commuters and pet owners, as well as protecting critical documents and valuables, and documenting and insuring property.

Here are 10 ways to participate in America’s PrepareAthon!

1. Sign up for local emergency alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
2. Create and test emergency communication plans.
3. Assemble or update emergency supply kits.
4. Conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions for local hazards.
5. Plan with neighbors and coworkers to help each other and share resources.
6. Participate in emergency preparedness training.
7. Conduct an exercise of a disaster scenario to review and improve your emergency plan.
8. Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
9. Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
10. Collect and safeguard critical documents.