Get ready during National Preparedness Month Published Sept. 28, 2023 By Airmen 1st Class Caleb Overstreet and MJ De Belen Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Office of Emergency Management JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- September is National Preparedness Month, and the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Office of Emergency Management encourages everyone to learn how to prepare and plan for, respond to, and recover from any disaster. Since its inception in 2004, the annual observance of NPM has served as a timely reminder of the importance of preparedness in an unpredictable world. Living in Alaska comes with perks, but also a unique set of challenges; earthquakes, wildfires, volcanoes and winter storms are all likely possibilities. Knowing the basics about these hazards and how to protect yourself against them is vital for survival in a harsh environment. Make a Plan Everyone should create an emergency plan that includes how to communicate, points of contact, and areas to evacuate to. Recognize that even children can play a role in emergency preparedness. Educate your children on these emergency plans, safety procedures, and evacuation points. Build a Kit/Emergency Supply Tailor emergency kits to fit the needs of your specific disasters. The must-haves in your kit/supply are water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, important documents including a phone list, flashlight or other light source, battery or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries, multipurpose tools, personal hygiene items, essential medications, extra cash, blankets, clothes, and maps of the area. Store these items high and dry to prevent damage in long-term storage. Prepare for Disaster Stay properly informed and up-to-date with reliable information. Be aware of what the hazards are in your area – not just natural but man-made as well. Encourage community engagement by volunteering, joining local emergency response teams, and supporting disaster relief programs. National Preparedness Month reminds us all of our responsibility to prepare for the worst. The collective effort of our installation and community, staying informed, and having the proper supplies enhances safety and contributes to our resilience and strength when faced with adversity. Preparedness is a continuous effort and NPM provides us with an opportunity to create a safer and more resilient environment. For more information on National Preparedness Month and resources you can use to take control of your safety, visit https://www.ready.gov/september.