National Preparedness Month

FEMA designated September as National Preparedness Month (NPM), and the City of Alexandria encourages everyone to learn how to prepare for emergencies by being ready, involved, and informed. Take the opportunity to learn lifesaving skills, discuss an emergency plan with your family, and build a basic emergency supply kit.

Page updated on Sep 2, 2020 at 3:32 PM

2020 National Preparedness Month

2020 National Preparedness Month


National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, reminds us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year.

The purpose of NPM, designated annually by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is to raise public awareness about the importance of being prepared for disasters of any kind. The goal of the initiative is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions.

This year, the overarching NPM theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” NPM is the reminder to everyone to be prepared for the unexpected; to learn lifesaving skills, such as CPR and first aid; and check insurance policies and coverage for hazards you may face, like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. As the nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no time like the present to ensure you and your family are prepared for any emergency.

The City of Alexandria encourages everyone to learn how to prepare for emergencies by being ready, involved, and informed. In recognition of National Preparedness Month, the Office of Emergency Management has partnered with Volunteer Alexandria to  host virtual Until Help Arrives training sessions.

“Until Help Arrives”

For the safety of participants and facilitators, UHA training will take place online. UHA training provides information and instruction on how to take action in emergency situations while waiting for professional responders to arrive. Space is limited; online registration is required.

  • Tuesday, September 22 6-10 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 26: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Hands-Only CPR

The Alexandria Fire Department also encourages everyone to learn hands-only CPR. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, hands-only CPR is the recommended form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Hands-only CPR increases the likelihood of surviving breathing and cardiac emergencies that occur outside of medical settings.

Community Emergency Response Team Training

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) also encourages the community to register for training to become a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this training will take place online each Thursday night ( 7-10 p.m.), September 10 through October 22. In-person exercises and graduation will be held at a later date to be determined, based on COVID-19 conditions.


Be Ready

Planning is an important part of being prepared. Be ready for an emergency or disaster by completing three simple steps:

  1. Build a basic emergency supply kit: Prepare essential food, medicine, and other supplies for you, your family, and pets for at least three days of use.
  2. Prepare a family emergency plan: Decide how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in different situations.
  3. Stay up to date: Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate ways to respond. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference in keeping you and your family safe.

Get Involved

Become a part of something larger by getting involved in preparedness activities at your workplace, campus, or place of worship. Consider volunteering for the Medical Reserve Corps, Citizens Corps Council, or other community groups. Visit the City's Get Involved webpage to find these and other volunteer opportunities.


Be Informed

During an emergency, it is vital to stay informed by monitoring local media and government information for official news and information. Visit the City's Be Alert webpage to learn about the many ways to stay in touch with local government and emergency authorities during an emergency, ranging from the free Alexandria eNews service to social media channels. Another useful resource is Smart911. The City of Alexandria joined the nationwide "Smart911" service, which lets residents, businesses, and visitors provide information to 911 dispatchers in advance of emergencies. Learn more about this free service by visiting the Smart911 webpage.


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