Did you know September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month?

You see the news everyday in the United States, somewhere, someone, is suffering the effects of a natural or a man-made incident and the heartache it brings.

The challenge for preparedness is maximizing awareness and encouraging participation in disaster preparedness activities that affect change at the community level.

Our nation's emergency managers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMT/paramedics and other emergency responders do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but they cannot do it alone.

We must all embrace our personal responsibility to be prepared. In doing so, we contribute to the safety and security of our community and Fort Sill. Being prepared is the best thing we can all do to alleviate the potential suffering we and our families may endure.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has partnered with nearly 11,100 different businesses, organizations, communities, agencies, groups and schools across the nation to help everyone prepare with a simple and basic message: Be informed, make a plan and build a kit.

These three simple things go a long way in ensuring you and your family are prepared to deal with nearly any situation that may arise.

More information for the national campaign may be found at www.ready.gov. Besides the focus of preparing your family, there are a number of preparedness and service organizations that train everyday citizens to assist in their communities when a disaster hits. There are opportunities with the Community Emergency Response Team, Volunteers in Police Service, Medical Reserve Corps Fire Corps and Neighborhood Watch.

The Lawton-Fort Sill community has CERT, MRC and Neighborhood Watch programs available for you to participate in. For more information contact the Lawton/Comanche County Emergency Management Office at 355-0535.

Similar to what is being done on a national level, the State of Oklahoma and its Office of Homeland Security have developed Red Dirt Ready that closely mirrors the efforts of Ready.gov but with an Oklahoma tie.

Preparedness and volunteer information, and activities such as Neighborhood Watch and Map Your Neighborhood are available for you to help in your neighborhood and community. For more information on Red Dirt Ready, go to www.ok.gov/reddirtready/index.html.

For our Amy family, the Department of the Army in 2006 also partnered with Ready.gov and established Ready Army to provide a proactive campaign to increase the resilience of the Army community and enhance the readiness of the force by informing Soldiers, their families, Army civilians and contractors of relevant hazards and encouraging them to build a kit, make a plan and be informed. Through outreach and education, Ready Army calls our Army community to action and aims to create a culture of preparedness that will save lives and strengthen the nation.

For more information, fact sheets, posters, booklets and other helpful resources, visit www.acsim.army.mil/ readyarmy.

If you, your unit or organization is interested in hosting or conducting any preparedness activities or would like a briefing or presentation, call the Fort Sill Emergency Management Office at 442-2533/2532/5973 to schedule.

Page last updated Thu August 30th, 2012 at 12:55