Commit to Emergency Preparedness in 2013

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FEMA News Release

ATLANTA - This year was characterized by extremely active and devastating weather events across the country; flooding in the Southeast as a result of Tropical Storm Debby and Hurricane Isaac, wildfires across the Midwest, and Hurricane Sandy which devastated parts of the Northeast and was the second-largest Atlantic storm on record.

As 2012 comes to a close and people make resolutions for the new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) are encouraging everyone to Resolve to be Ready in 2013 by committing to emergency preparedness.

"While Florida is known as the most hurricane-prone state in the nation, there are an abundance of severe weather threats that require all Floridians to be prepared year-round," said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "Making emergency preparedness a resolution for your family or business is a great way to get motivated and be prepared for whatever 2013 may bring to the Sunshine State."

As we have seen in 2012, including the recent severe weather affecting many parts of the country during the holidays, disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones. Resolve to be Ready in 2013 is a nationwide effort to increase awareness and encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the new year.

"Resolve to be Ready is one new year's resolution you'll want to keep," said FEMA Region IV Administrator Phil May. "There are simple steps you can take to prepare for emergencies, such as putting together an emergency supply kit and creating a family emergency plan. Taking these steps will help keep you and your family safe, and could be the most important pledge you make."

By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, people can minimize the impact of an emergency on their families, homes and businesses. To take the pledge, visit or, which includes free information, checklists and guidelines about how to put together a kit and make a plan.

Here are a few important tips to get you started:

  • Be informed. Know the hazards and risks in your area and learn what you need to do to get ready for them. One way you can do this is by signing up to receive information on your mobile device. Here are a few agency websites that offer timely information:
    -American Red Cross
    -National Weather Service

  • Make a family emergency plan so you know how you would communicate with and find your loved ones when a disaster strikes. Think about how you would reach your kids at school or your spouse at work. If you had to evacuate, where would you go? Thinking this through in advance will make a big difference.

  • Build two emergency supply kits - one for home and one for the car - that include water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or are stranded in your car. This is especially important for dealing with icy roads and snowstorms this winter.

  • Get Involved. Be an advocate and educator for safety and emergency preparedness within your community. Contact your local Citizen Corps.
  • Spread the word to your loved ones and encourage them to Resolve to be Ready in 2013. Anyone can learn more by visiting or

    To learn more about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan!, visit or, and follow FDEM on Twitter at @FLSERT, on Facebook at and on Google+ at FLSERT.

    FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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