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

Aug. 31, 2007

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:

-- In New York City, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will kick off National Preparedness Month with the New York City Citizen Corps Council at seven locations throughout the five boroughs. Various city and community partners will be stationed near major transit hubs to distribute copies of the Ready New York pocket-size preparedness guide, part of OEM's Ready New York Campaign, and educate New Yorkers about ways to prepare for emergencies. Ready New York ads will appear during the month on subways, local newspapers, bus shelters, supermarket circulars, and sanitation trucks. Later in September, OEM will debut its much-anticipated Ready New York for kids guide, which will be distributed to all New York City public school students. -- In an effort to prepare citizens for emergencies, Be Ready Alabama is coordinating youth "Be Ready Camps" focused on building preparedness skills and a "Be Ready Sunday" for faith-based organizations across the state to deliver preparedness messages. In addition, there will be a statewide event called "Be Ready Day" which will educate and train individuals on preparing for emergencies, volunteer opportunities in the communities, and first responders' preparedness and response capabilities. -- Several California cities including San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara will host regional business preparedness events during National Preparedness Month's Business Preparedness Week. These events will offer California business owners and managers guidance on how to develop a business emergency plan that can help secure their employees, operations and assets. -- To promote emergency preparedness in the workplace, Wal-Mart will broadcast Ready Campaign public service announcements on its internal television and radio network in all its United States stores throughout the month of September.

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.

-- September 1-8: Back-to-School (Ready Kids) -- September 9-15: Business preparedness (Ready Business) -- September 16-22: Multicultural preparedness (Listo) -- September 23-30: Home and family preparedness, including pets, older

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 .

"National Preparedness Month 2007 Coalition Members" DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010

SOURCE The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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