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Fifth Annual National Preparedness Month Coming in September


The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in July that more than 1200 national, regional, state and local businesses and organizations -- including several Amateur Radio groups -- have pledged their support and joined the 2008 National Preparedness Month Coalition. Sponsored by the department's Ready campaign, National Preparedness Month helps to raise awareness and promote action by Americans, businesses and communities on emergency preparedness.

"As we approach our fifth National Preparedness Month, I want to thank the hundreds of coalition members who are making a difference in their communities by helping raise the basic level of preparedness in our country," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Individual preparedness is the cornerstone of emergency preparedness. Experience shows that if Americans take steps ahead of time, they stand a much better chance of coming through an emergency unharmed and recovering more quickly."

"The Ready campaign and Citizen Corps are specifically encouraging individuals across the nation to take important preparedness steps," said ARRL Public Relations and Media Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "These steps include getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about the different emergencies that may affect them, as well as taking the necessary steps to get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts."

National Preparedness Month Coalition members have agreed to distribute emergency preparedness information and sponsor activities across the country that will promote emergency preparedness. Membership is open to all public and private sector organizations. Sign up your club or ARES group now! Groups and individuals can register to become members by visiting the Ready Web site and clicking on the National Preparedness Month banner. Information is also available by phone at 1-800-BE-READY or 1-888-SE-LISTO (in Spanish).

According to Pitts, linking up with the people and participating in September's National Preparedness Month is "an easy win. The federal people are already doing all the hard work. All you really have to do is sign up. Most clubs and ARES groups are already doing activities which fit into their structure, so why not get credit for your actions? Of course, if you do something more with this opportunity, so much the better! But you have to sign your group in and no one can do that for you. There are hundreds of ARES groups and clubs in the country. Wouldn't it be fun to have even 70 percent of them sign up and get noticed?"



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