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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) ? Throughout the month of September, hundreds of activities are planned across the country to highlight the importance of individual emergency preparedness. The National Preparedness Month coalition, which includes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 80 organizations and all 56 states and territories, will encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare themselves and their families for any possible emergencies.

?National Preparedness Month will give everyone an opportunity to work toward a better prepared America,? said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. ?This broad coalition and vast number of activities and events will allow us to reach millions of individuals and inform them about ways they can prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools.?

State and territorial activities range from preparedness booths at the state capitol or state fairs; to proclamations, press conferences or town hall meetings on preparedness issues; to statewide public service announcements and emergency trainings. The more than 80 National Preparedness Month partner organizations will help reach millions of Americans by communicating the simple ways that individuals can prepare for emergencies.

Partner activities include:

  • The American Red Cross will organize Together We Prepare Saturday, September 18 with its chapters nationwide. Chapters are encouraged to sponsor events in their communities such as first aid trainings and preparedness fairs.
  • The America Prepared Campaign has galvanized the private sector in support of National Preparedness Month by providing preparedness information and tools at some of the nation?s largest retailers, including HomeDepot, Starbucks, Walmart, Costco and Sam?s Club.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, is participating in National Preparedness Month to help get the business community prepared. The Chamber will distribute emergency preparedness information to its employees nationwide and encourage its members, which include businesses, state and local chambers of commerce, and trade and professional associations, to do the same.
  • The National Association of Broadcasters has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to create Are You Ready?, a step-by-step emergency preparedness guidebook for local broadcasters.
  • The Public Discourse Project (formerly the 9/11 Commission) will continue to make emergency preparedness a priority. Particularly, its members will work to educate the private sector that preparedness for rescue, restart, and recovery of operations should include a plan for evacuation, adequate communications capabilities, and a plan for continuity of operations, as outlined in the Commission's report.
  • The Department of Homeland Security?s National Preparedness Month activities will include initiatives related to the Ready campaign as well as events hosted by Citizen Corps.

While events will be held across the country throughout the month, all National Preparedness Month partner organizations will join together for a launch on September 9 in Washington, D.C. The event, co-chaired by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Representatives Christopher Cox (R-CA) and Jane Harman (D-CA), will be held on the grounds of the United States Capitol at 11:00 a.m.

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