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September is National Preparedness Month

Sept. 12, 2017 As Hurricane Irma brushed the state, public health officials joined other statewide emergency response partners to provide resources and tools to local health departments promoting emergency preparedness in communities.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated September as National Preparedness Month. Preparedness month focuses on the importance of teaching individuals and communities to be as prepared as possible to confront any emergency.

In North Carolina and across the nation, this year’s campaign focuses on the importance of planning, with the theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

“We encourage everyone to be proactive; there are many actions that people can take to increase their readiness,” said Danny Staley, Director of the N.C. DHHS Division of Public Health. “Taking steps such as signing up for local alerts on your smartphone, safe guarding and documenting your valuables and important papers, developing an emergency communication and evacuation plan, and creating an emergency supply kit can go a long way in preparing for any situation.”

For nearly two decades, public health’s role has expanded in response to domestic and international threats such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters and infectious disease outbreaks including avian flu and the Ebola and Zika viruses. Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHP&R) is the Division of Public Health branch that monitors and strengthens the abilities of statewide public health and health care systems to help ensure readiness when disaster strikes.

For more information on National Preparedness Month, visit

Adrian Cox and Scott Coleman