As 2011 – one of the most active years for disasters in recent history – comes to a close and Americans get ready to ring in a new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging all Americans to "Resolve to be Ready" by making a New Year's resolution to be prepared for emergencies.
As a recent report by the National Climatic Data Center highlights, 2011 has seen more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year on record. This year alone, the U.S. experienced its first hurricane landfall since 2008, the most deadly series of tornadoes since the 1950’s, significant earthquakes and severe flooding – hazards that impacted every region of the country. All of these events have served as important reminders that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones.
FEMA has just kicked off its 2012 annual campaign, "Resolve to be Ready", which urges Americans to make preparedness a priority by making a New Year's resolution to be ready for disasters.
"One of the most important lessons we can take away from this year is that disasters can impact all of us, no matter what part of the country we live in," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "While we can't control where or when they might hit, we can take steps in advance to prepare for them - efforts that can go a long way toward protecting our families, homes and businesses. Resolving to be Ready in 2012 could be the most important pledge you make this year."
By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, Americans can minimize the impact of an emergency on their families, homes or businesses. To take the pledge, visit www.ready.gov/resolve, which offers free information, checklists, and guidelines about how to put together a kit, make a plan, and stay informed.
"Resolve to be Ready in 2012" is a nationwide effort to increase awareness and encourage individuals, families, businesses, and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the New Year. This effort is led by FEMA's Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
The award-winning Farmington Hills/Farmington Emergency Preparedness Commission holds monthly meetings, open to the public, to discuss these same awareness issues. For more information, visit the EPC website at fhready.com or in the event of a local emergency, go to radio station 1650AM.
Lieutenant Denny Hughes is a fire and safety educator with the Farmington Hills (MI) Fire Department. He may be reached at 248-871-2823 or at DHughes@fhgov.com