FORT MCPHERSON -- Ready Army is a new, Army-wide campaign developed by HQDA's Installation Preparedness Branch, Army Emergency Management Program. The campaign was launched Sept. 1 to coincide with the fifth annual National Preparedness Month.

Ready Army is an emergency preparedness and awareness campaign aimed at Soldiers, their Families, Army Civilians and contractors to prepare them for hazards, manmade or natural, and to encourage them to "Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed."

"National Preparedness Month is a reminder about each American's civic responsibility to prepare for emergencies," said Lorenza James, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear explosive operations specialist in the U.S. Army Garrison's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS).

Recent events remind us more than ever that we must prepare ourselves and our families for emergencies or a disaster before they happen. This is the time, each year, when every American should ask the question, 'Am I ready''"

The program is born of the Sept.11, 2001, tragedy that brought to keen focus the need for families to know how to respond to terrorist attacks and other disasters.

"Recent events, such as the flooding and tornados in the Midwest, serve to point out that we must be ready," said James. "Knowing that our families are prepared to respond, should disaster strike, will help our Soldiers focus on the mission at hand, especially when deployed.

"Ready Army is a proactive, action-oriented campaign that emphasizes individual, family and community hazard awareness and emergency preparedness, according to the Army Web site.

The Ready Army campaign supports the Army Family Covenant, the Soldier Family Action Plan and ongoing initiatives under the Army Medical Command. Georgia residents have heard the warnings of severe thunderstorm watches many times in the last few months, James recalled.

"Many of those storms had the possibility of turning severe, and many had damaging winds and lots of vivid lightning. Following severe storms and tornadoes in March, the federal government declared Bartow, Burke, DeKalb, Floyd, Fulton, Jefferson and Polk counties a presidential disaster area.

Had the families and businesses prepared for the long road to recovery' "Now is a good time for everyone to start planning and get involved in preparing their communities, schools, workplaces and homes before a new series of storms, hurricanes or tornadoes rip across Georgia," James said.

"There is help available. Citizen Corps and the Department of Homeland Security provide opportunities for citizens to get emergency response training, participate in community exercises and volunteer to support local first responders."

Events to launch Ready Army on post will be held in conjunction with the Community Wellness Center Holistic Health and Wellness Day today from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Bldg. 60 at Fort McPherson.

For more information or to learn how to get involved, visit

Preparedness materials, such as emergency preparedness fact sheets, family emergency plan guides, emergency kit checklists, parent/teacher guides, kids' material, posters, public service announcements and brochures are available for print and download from the AKO site