FEMA’s PrepareAthon – helping local communities prepare for disasters

FEMA is kicking off a new grassroots-style campaign for preparedness with a new program called “PrepareAthon”.

According to a press release, “America’s PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises.”

The website FEMA set up for PrepareAthon is pretty straightforward. The first section called TAKE ACTION goes over several pre-made promo kits FEMA has prepared for community organization and discussion.

The sections are…

  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Wildfire
  • Winter Storm

Clicking on each section will take you to a detailed view, where you can download an overview of topics for the “attendees” discussion, and also a “playbook” for the “presenters”. (FEMA has also provided the materials for all sections in Spanish and Chinese as well.)

The second section of the website, titled BE COUNTED, lets you search cities for presentations already set up or planned, and the last section, titled SPREAD THE WORD, lets you download logos, promo materials, surveys and checklists for the presentation.

This is one of those things that sounds like it would be a homerun for a local police department, church, chamber of commerce, school organization or civic-minded group to set up and pitch to the community one weekend. Everything is available pre-packaged online ready to go. Just pick a topic, download, review, print and go.

The PrepareAthon campaign is also set up on Twitter @PrepareAthon and has an email address for questions at prepareathon@fema.gov if volunteers have any questions.