The International Association of Emergency Managers said on April 3 that the first America's PrepareAthon! will be held on April 30, in an effort to increase awareness and emergency preparedness at the community level.
The event is patterned after The Great ShakeOut Earthquake drills, and will promote Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness. The directive calls for a strengthening of security and resilience of the United States through disaster preparation, and is aimed at encouraging action by the federal government and facilitating an all-of-nation approach to preparedness.
The focus for the inaugural day will be preparing for natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Organizers of the campaign hope to increase the number of people who know how to stay safe and respond to a disaster, as well as encourage more people to proactively prepare to disasters that may occur in their communities.
PrepareAthon! materials include information, interactive tools and support resources that outline best-practice actions for natural disasters. Mitigation measures and guidance for hosting a drill or discussion also are included.
National Days of Action will be held twice a year, in spring and fall. Participants are able to register on America's PrepareAthon! website and access information for hazard-specific drills and activities.