Lansing, MI -- For over a decade, September has been recognized as National Preparedness Month. The special designation began in 2004 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began its efforts to build awareness and preparedness in advance of any potential natural or man-made disasters.
National Preparedness Month encourages both citizens and businesses to take steps to prepare for any type of emergency. According to Ready.gov, “Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism.” It also reports that up to 40% of businesses affected by a natural or human-caused disaster do not reopen and an Ad Council survey found that 62% of respondents said they do not have an emergency plan in place for their business.
“In the event of a disaster, the resources of even the largest 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,” said Nicole Greeson, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “Emergency preparedness requires attention to not just specific types of hazards, but also to steps that increase preparedness for any type of event. These may include everything from wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods to hazardous materials incidents, ionizing radiation and biological threats.”
Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) are professionals who are uniquely qualified to prepare for and handle these types of emergencies. They are well versed in identifying, preventing and responding to many situations that can occur following a natural or man-made disaster. This is due to their ability to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control a wide range of chemical, physical, biological and ergonomic stressors.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit www.ABIH.org, email abih@ABIH.org or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world's largest, premier organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6800 people are certified to use the CIH® designation.