September Marks National Preparedness Month
Nashville, TN – The beginning of September marks the start of National Preparedness Month. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security encourages Tennesseans to use this month to prepare for both natural and man-made disasters, such as potential terrorists attacks. This year’s preparedness month theme is “You Can Be the Hero.”
“As we near the 12-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, we still remember the heroic acts of first responders and citizens on that day. We witnessed that same heroism earlier this year during the Boston Marathon,” Commissioner Gibbons said. “We know from experience that terrorism is a real part of our lives today, and an attack can happen suddenly and without warning. It’s important for citizens to become as prepared as possible for terrorist hazards and ‘be the hero’ in their homes, communities and state,” he added.“Citizens are as much a part of securing the homeland as we are,” Assistant Commissioner Purkey said, who oversees the state’s Office of Homeland Security. “We count on people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior or unattended packages or devices to local law enforcement. The most important advice we can share is if you see something, say something.”
Terrorist hazards can include biological and chemical threats, explosions, cyber attacks and nuclear blasts.
One of the first action steps in the event of a terrorist act is to decide whether to stay put, shelter-in-place or get away.
Commissioner Purkey explained that citizens should be prepared to use available resources to create a barrier between themselves and the outside in case of air contamination or create an evacuation plan if one needs to leave the area quickly.
“We are also urging citizens to remain informed about how they will be notified of a disaster as methods may vary from community to community. And everyone should know if an emergency plan exists at places where their families spend time,” Purkey added.
The preparation for a terrorist attack is much the same as it is for other emergencies – be alert, remain informed, and be prepared. Visit www.ready.gov for more tips on National Preparedness Month.
Tennesseans can report suspicious activities online at http://www.tn.gov/homelandsecurity/report_susp_act.shtml or by calling 1.877.250.2333, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To sign up for and receive alerts from the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), visit http://www.dhs.gov/national-terrorism-advisory-system
National Preparedness Month is sponsored by Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corp and the Ad Council. Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.