August 31, 2021

September is designated National Preparedness Month by FEMA to raise awareness of the hazards you face and ways to prepare for those risks.

This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love” and we certainly see first-hand the need of a strong support system from family, friends, and neighbors before, during, and after emergencies and disasters.

The Office of Emergency Management’s Community Preparedness Program preaches the need for developing a solid emergency plan and having a good assistance network in place so you can react and recover from emergencies.

Here are five simple steps you can take to become better prepared:

Make an Emergency Plan

The time to prepare for an emergency is before one occurs, not reacting during an incident. Create a Family Emergency Plan that includes the needs of everyone, including pets, and has important contact information for family, friends, and neighbors along with medical needs detailed in it.

Get Connected

Get to know our Community Preparedness staff! Find out what we’re up to by getting our monthly newsletter with highlights on city programs, ways to be prepared, and what to watch for.

If your organization or neighborhood is interested in hosting a preparedness discussion, please email us at

Also, meet us live on Facebook during our Community Chats where we discuss topics of interest and hear directly from you. These online events are held the first Tuesday and third Thursday of every month. This month we’re hosting chats on September 7th at 11 a.m. and September 16th at 6 p.m.

Stay Informed

Getting verified information from trusted sources is extremely important before, during, and after an event or emergency. Sign up to get free text or email alerts from the city’s mass notification system, ReadyPhiladelphia. You’ll get real-time details on weather and other emergency communication direct from the city.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

During an emergency, your neighbors are often the first-responders providing aid before emergency services arrive. Get to know those on your block who are vulnerable and may need help.

Keep Documents Safe

If your paper files and personal computer are lost or damaged in a fire, flood, or other emergency, your personal information, bank statements, and insurance records could be destroyed. Plan ahead to ensure that valuable documents are safe and accessible whenever you need them.