More Than 1,700 Organizations to Participate in Fourth Annual Homeland Security National Preparedness Month

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that more than 1,700 national, regional, state, and local organizations will support the department by participating in National Preparedness Month 2007. This campaign occurs annually in September, and encourages Americans to prepare for all types of emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. DHS promotes individual emergency preparedness through the Ready Campaign and the department's Citizen Corps Program throughout the year.

"Too many individuals remain in a state of denial when it comes to personal preparedness," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Able-bodied Americans need to be prepared to take care of themselves and their families after an emergency, so that first responders can focus on those who need assistance most. With the help of our coalition members, we encourage Americans to get an emergency supply kit, make a family communications plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that may affect them."

During September, Coalition Members will share preparedness information with their members, customers, employees, and communities. National Preparedness Month activities taking place throughout September (for a complete list of events, visit include:

Senate Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan Collins , and House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson and Ranking Member Peter King are serving as honorary Congressional co-chairs of National Preparedness Month 2007 and are leading the effort on Capitol Hill to increase public awareness on the importance of emergency preparedness.

For the first time, National Preparedness Month is focusing on different areas of emergency preparedness.

Americans and individuals with disabilities and special needs (Ready America)

The purpose of National Preparedness Month is to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies. Although significant progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to ensure that all Americans are prepared. A national survey conducted by The Advertising Council on behalf of Homeland Security in July found that 66 percent of Americans believe it is "very important" for individuals to prepare and 54 percent report having taken some steps to prepare. The study also found progress on emergency preparedness among specific subgroups, including: Hispanic Americans; men, particularly fathers; and employers.

Ready is a national public service advertising campaign produced by The Advertising Council in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security. The Ready Campaign is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Individuals interested in more information about family, business and community preparedness can visit or call 1- 800-BE-READY to receive free materials. Citizen Corps brings together community, emergency and government leaders to involve community members in emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response and recovery. Through Citizen Corps and its program partners and affiliates, individuals can find training and volunteer opportunities to support first responders in an emergency. To learn more and to get involved, contact your nearest Citizen Corps Council by visiting .

National Preparedness Month events and activities are voluntary. DHS is not financially obligated to any National Preparedness Month Coalition Member. For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit .

SOURCE The U.S. Department of Homeland Security