Plan during September for National Preparedness Month

(Monroe County, Fla) – National Preparedness Month (NPM) is September and this year, the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County reminds residents to prepare for natural disasters, outbreaks, and other public health emergencies which can happen at any time. This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

Themes focusing on different preparedness topics of every week follow: Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

Speak with your friends and family about what your plan is before, during, and after a disaster. Include CDC’s recommendations found at: Monroe County faced devastating effects after Hurricane Irma in 2017 and emergency plans should consider including mental health services. Visit for more information about how to get support for mental health and/or substance abuse problems.

Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

Collect emergency supplies and create a “go kit” that would last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Consider the unique needs of each person and pet should there be a need to evacuate quickly. Include in the go kit disinfectant wipes and spray, hand sanitizer, and multiple clean masks for everyone age 2 and older.

Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost/Impact Preparedness

Find out how you can prevent potential impacts of disasters on your family and your home. In Monroe County, weather-related events, mosquito-borne illness, and COVID-19 are some public heath emergencies that can be presented. Learn how install hurricane shutters or plywood and where you can get them. Drain standing water frequently to prevent mosquitos from breeding. Prevent infectious disease by wearing a mask and staying away from others if you are sick. More at and mitigation-grant-programs.

Week 4 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.

To download the Florida Department of Emergency Management’s Disaster Supply Kit Checklist, visit For more local information, visit

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