National Preparedness Month Toolkit 2021

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. As our state continues to respond to emergencies and COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved this September.

The theme of NPM this year is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for Disasters is Protecting Everyone You Love.” and asks everyone to take action now by making a plan with your community, your family and for your pets. We can all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work and visit. The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, businesses, school and places of worship.

This NPM toolkit includes talking points and social media messages that you can use in various outreach efforts. As you familiarize yourself with the toolkit, keep in mind the audiences that you work with, and select the tools that are best able to help your organization reach them most effectively.

In addition to promoting NPM through TEMA’s social media platforms, Governor Bill Lee has issued a proclamation designating September as Preparedness Month in Tennessee.

Talking Points
• National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year
• This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Prepare to Protect.
• As Tennessee continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved than this September.
• NPM is geared toward building awareness and encouraging Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship.

September 1-4: Make a Plan
• Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.
September 5-11: Build a Kit
• Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
• Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date.
September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness
• Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Social Media
TEMA, FEMA, and FEMA Region IV will have NPM messages on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Use the official hashtags #PrepareToProtect and #BeReady when posting.

Week 1: Make a Plan
• #PrepareToProtect means preparing to protect everyone you love. Start by making a plan before disasters and emergencies strike:
• Discuss with your household or family how you will communicate if there is an emergency.
• #BeReady. Make an emergency plan today & practice it:
• Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get started with tips from @Readygov:
• Houses, mobile homes, apartments, and high-rise buildings have different evacuation considerations. Make a plan for each:

• It’s important to include kids in the disaster planning process. Review your family emergency plan together so that they know what to do even if you are not there:
• Review, update, and practice your Family Emergency Communication Plan at least once a year, or whenever information changes. Planning in advance helps ensure all members of the household know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency.

Tennessee’s 2021 National Preparedness Month

• Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more familiar if you need to evacuate in an emergency.

Week 2: Build a Kit
• #BeReady for a power outage by having enough food, water, & meds to last for at least 72 hours:
• #BeReady when disaster strikes. Build your emergency kit and have several ways to receive weather alerts.
• Disasters don’t wait. Prepare now. Include these items in your emergency kit:

 Food and water
 Cloth face coverings, sanitizer, and soap
 Any medications
 Pet supplies
 First aid kit

• Keep flashlights and radios in a known, easy to access place in case of a power outage.
• It’s not too early to teach your kids about emergency preparedness! Play the Build a Kit game and learn what supplies are needed for your own emergency kit. Visit:
• We often think of just our homes in terms of emergency kits. Think outside the box! A vehicle emergency kit is a great idea. For tips on what to include, visit:
• Take a selfie with your pets & include a printed copy in your emergency kit. If you get separated during a disaster, it might help you get reunited. #BeReady #PetPreparedness

Week 3: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
• #BeReady. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim after a disaster.
• What important documents should you have for an emergency? Download the free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, which will walk you through the planning process:
• Plan ahead: how will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes? #BeReady with the help of these tips and free resources:
• Set aside a small amount from each paycheck to go into your savings account. Find more tips to help you manage your money to be prepared for the unexpected:
• Have multiple ways to get weather information. If you receive an emergency alert, act fast! Listen to local official and take the necessary actions. #BeReady
• Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment.
• Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.

Tennessee’s 2021 National Preparedness Month

Week 4: Teach Youth about Preparedness
• Teach children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away from home. Visit:
• Help your kids know how to communicate during an emergency. Review these topics with them: Sending text message; Emergency contact numbers; Dialing 9-1-1 for help
• Add your kids’ school’s social media info to the family communication plan:
• Do your kids know what to do in an emergency? Include them in your family communication plan:
 Practice how to get in touch in an emergency
 Write down emergency contacts
 Pick a family password/safe word to help your child avoid strangers
• Get kids involved in building their own emergency kit:
• Start talking with your children early about money. Include kids in discussions about saving for a disaster. Get ideas for how to involve them at
• Your kids can become Disaster Masters with this @Readygov preparedness game:
• Are your students prepared for an emergency? Download curriculum for grades 1-12 for your classroom:

Questions regarding this toolkit or National Preparedness Month
can be sent to Dean Flener or Maggie Hannan.