Lansing, MI -- For over a decade, September has been recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM). The designation began in 2004 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiated efforts to build awareness and preparedness in advance of potential natural or man-made disasters. FEMA has announced that this year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”
Disaster and emergency preparedness requires attention to not just specific types of hazards, but also to steps that increase preparedness for any type of hazard. This is why National Preparedness Month encourages people, communities and businesses to be ready in the event of a natural disaster as well as technical, accidental or terrorist hazards. These events may include everything from hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, earthquakes and floods to hazardous materials incidents and biological threats.
“With two major hurricanes hitting the U.S. in the past 30 days, it is clear that National Preparedness Month is something companies, government agencies and institutions of all sizes should take note of and ensure that they are properly prepared for all types of emergencies and disasters,” said David Roskelley, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “When a disaster happens, the resources of public agencies can be quickly overwhelmed, so it is critical that organizations and businesses have a plan and people in place who are trained to handle these types of situations. The industrial hygiene community and Certified Industrial Hygienists in particular are well versed in identifying, preventing and responding to many of these situations. This is due to their unique skill set and their ability to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control a wide range of chemical, physical, biological and ergonomic stressors.”