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Oklahoma City - Gov. Brad Henry proclaimed September to be Preparedness Month. Highlighting the importance of individual preparedness, the proclamation is part of a nationwide campaign coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the 55 other U.S. states and territories.

CLICK HERE to view the proclamation.
Gov. Brad Henry signs 04 NPM proclamation

"There are simple steps every Oklahoman can take to be prepared for a potential terrorist attack, precautions that are similar to being prepared for the severe weather that we in Oklahoma are all too familiar with," said Gov. Henry. "Being prepared requires constant vigilance, but it does not mean that we surrender to fear and paranoia. Proactive measures simply mean that we recognize the perils of these times and act accordingly. It is important that we be ready in the unlikely event that we are attacked."

Officials of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) applauded the Governor and the agency's state partners for their commitment to promote preparedness throughout September. From fairs to concerts, Oklahomans will see how simple it is to be prepared for any emergency.

"We are working everyday with our local, state and federal partners to make sure Oklahomans, across the board, are ready," said Kerry Pettingill, director of OKOHS. "Whether it's a natural disaster or man-made, like the Murrah building bombing, every citizen has the potential to be a first responder and must be prepared to do so. Their family, neighbors and community are counting on it."

National Preparedness Month gives the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) an opportunity to promote the state's Citizen Corps Program. Not only does Citizen Corps encourage Oklahomans to personally prepare for an emergency, it also promotes the idea of assisting first responders during a crisis. Better-prepared citizens allow fire, police and emergency medical service providers to focus their efforts on the most critical and life-threatening situations, explained OEM Director Albert Ashwood.

"The most positive thing we can do is to empower Oklahomans with knowledge and skills so they can be prepared to help themselves and others in times of emergency," Ashwood said.

Oklahoma Citizen Corps initiatives include the Medical Reserve Corps, Volunteers in Police Service, Neighborhood Watch and Community Emergency Response Team programs.

OKOHS is partnering with the American Red Cross and the following state agencies to promote National Preparedness Month:

  • Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
  • Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
  • Oklahoma Military Department
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health
  • Oklahoma Department of Public Safety


Representatives of the aforementioned agencies attended Wednesday's proclamation-signing ceremony.

More information about National Preparedness Month can be found on the OKOHS website. Links to each agency listed above can also be found on the OKOHS web site. To find out more about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's preparedness campaign log onto