September is National Preparedness Month

Power of Preparedness: Prepare Your Health

Each year during September, Michigan Prepares joins national, regional, and local governments, as well as private and public organizations in supporting National Preparedness Month. This 2018 theme was “The Power of Preparedness.”  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified four different steps everyone can take to better prepare themselves for emergencies, one for each week in September. Below are the weekly themes, along with actions you can take to stay healthy and safe during emergencies.

Week 1: Personal Health Preparedness - Each family is unique. Children, older adults, and individuals with medical conditions and physical disabilities may have different needs during and after disasters that should be considered when creating a preparedness plan.

How you can take action: Disaster preparedness starts with personal preparedness for you and your family. Visit the Plan section of MI Prepares to find emergency plan templates and supply checklists to prepare for your family’s unique needs. If you have a smartphone, you can download the MI Prepares Emergency Plan mobile app  to create, manage, and export your family preparedness plan right from your Apple or Android device. Visit the Be Informed section of MI Prepares to learn more about the common hazards in Michigan. It’s important to know the types of emergencies that could happen and what steps you can take if they do.

Week 2: Pandemic planning – This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic when nearly one third of the world’s population became ill. Public health and medicine has come a long way since then to prepare for flu pandemics, but there are still things you can do to help keep yourself and your family healthy.

How you can take action: Learn from the CDC about the history of the 1918 flu pandemic and how public health systems have worked to prepare for and respond to flu pandemics since. Getting a flu shot and practicing good handwashing can protect you from the upcoming flu season.  To find a location near you that offers the flu vaccine, visit

Week 3: Policy and Partnerships - Disasters begin and end at the local level. People in your own neighborhood are most likely to be the first to offer help during an emergency.

How you can take action: Take time to meet your neighbors. In an emergency, neighbors can help each other before responders can arrive. Share your emergency plan with your neighbors and encourage them to create their own personal emergency plans. Another great way to help your community is by joining the MI Volunteer Registry. The Registry will match your skills to where they are needed most in a disaster. There is no obligation to respond if contacted during an emergency.

Week 4: Public Health Response – A strong public health system serves to protect the health of citizens before, during and after an emergency through the integration of public health and medical preparedness initiatives and by leveraging diverse partnerships.

How you can take action: Connect with trusted local, state, and federal agencies to keep updated on health and safety issues that can affect you and your family and to receive important updates during emergencies. Visit the Connect section of MI Prepares for a list of contacts and resources that can help you before, during, and after an emergency. Learn more about the MDHHS Division of Emergency Preparedness and Response, which works with local health departments and healthcare agencies in Michigan to coordinate and strengthen preparedness efforts around the state. Information is also available for current public health emergency responses in Michigan, including PFAS and the hepatitis A outbreak.

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Additional 2018 Preparedness Month Information