"Individual planning is the cornerstone of emergency preparedness," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Since establishing this department and Ready, we have come a long way in raising the baseline of preparedness in this country, but we still have a long way to go. As 2009 approaches, I urge all Americans to consider the importance – and real value – of being prepared for all hazards."
Being ready for emergencies can be an easy new year's resolution to keep by following the Ready Campaign's three simple steps:
- Get an emergency supply kit;
- Make a family emergency plan; and
- Be informed about the types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses.
By taking these three steps – in particular having an emergency supply kit both at home and in the car – Americans will be prepared for winter mainstays like power outages and icy roads. Each of these kits should include basic necessities such as water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you are without power or become stranded in your vehicle. Complete checklists for each kit are available at http://www.ready.gov.
This year, the Ready Campaign is employing new media strategies to promote emergency preparedness. By using Twitter, a social networking tool, Ready hopes to not only reach new audiences, but also to open the lines of communication with the public, ensuring emergency preparedness is top of mind year-round. Twitter users can stay up-to-date on the latest Ready activities by following their username, "ReadydotGov," on Twitter.
By making the decision to Resolve to be Ready in 2009 and following the simple preparedness steps in advance, Americans will minimize the impact of emergencies on themselves, their family and their businesses. By visiting http://www.ready.gov or calling 1-800-BE-READY, individuals can access free materials that will help them make and keep a new year's resolution that will bring their families peace of mind.
February 2008 marked the Ready Campaign's fifth year at DHS. Launched in 2003 in partnership with The Advertising Council, Ready is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.