Investing & Markets

Make better decisions with investing tips, technical analysis, market commentary, and more

Personal Finance

Make more, save more, spend smarter, and keep more of what you earn

Business News

Stock market news & analysis


Events: National Preparedness Month, September 1-30

By Environmental Defense on 09/02/2010 – 11:20 am PDTLeave a Comment

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). The goal of this thirty-day campaign is to encourage homeowners, business managers, and local officials to prepare for natural and technological disasters in their communities. National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Ad Council, Citizen Corps, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Ready Campaign.

Natural Disasters, National Problems

Every year, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanoes and wildfires cause hundreds of deaths across the United States. According to FEMA, floods alone account for more than three-quarters of all federally-declared disasters. 

It isn’t that surprising given the fact that half of all Americans live within fifty miles of a coast, or when one considers that many of America’s largest inland cities like Nashville and Pittsburgh lie in river valleys prone to seasonal flooding. For this reason, counties and parishes located near coastlines and major rivers account for a significant proportion of annual disaster declarations by the federal government, as shown in the below map.

The map above shows presidential disaster declarations by county between 1965 and 2003. Counties (or parishes in the case of Louisiana) with more than ten disaster declarations over that period are labeled red. Note that the parishes and counties along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts had relatively frequent disaster declarations during that period. Most of the inland disaster declarations were concentrated in areas near major rivers like the Mississippi (Sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), United States Geological Survey (USGS))

Given the nationwide scope of this issue, initiatives such as storm surge protection and emergency flood preparedness should be vitally important to all Americans. But all too often they are forgotten until an unexpected disaster forces people to confront these issues head on. Simple steps such as setting up home emergency kits before calamity strikes could reduce injury tolls during emergencies and save lives afterwards.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Hazardous weather events and other natural disasters occur all throughout the year, but September is a particularly dangerous month for residents of the Gulf Coast. This is because the peak season for hurricane formation in the Atlantic Basin occurs in late summer/early autumn.

September Storminess: Between 1851 and 2006, September ranked first among all months for the number of recorded tropical storms in the Atlantic (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))

As we mentioned in a post last Thursday, this peak hurricane threat has a lot to do with the warm ocean conditions that come after months of spring and summer weather. Indeed, Hurricane Rita, the most intense tropical storm ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico, formed in September 2005, when sea surface temperatures in the Gulf were above normal. Hitting Louisiana just several weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Rita caused approximately $10 billion in damages along the Gulf Coast.

Since hurricanes can also cause floods and trigger tornadoes, they can be particularly devastating for communities that are ill-prepared for one or all of these potential disasters.  That’s why emergency preparedness is so important for protecting people in hurricane-prone areas like coastal Louisiana.

If your organization or business is involved in hazard mitigation, and you would like it to participate in National Preparedness Month, please make sure to register your group at Finally, please visit the Ready Campaign’s website for more information about NPM events scheduled in your neighborhood.

Tags: , , presidential disaster declarations

Related Articles:

  1. Presidential Proclamation-National Preparedness Month, 2010
  2. Hurricane Katrina: Five Years of Remembering & Rebuilding
  3. Events: $20 Billion Compensation Fund Begins Distributing Money to BP Oil Disaster Claimants, August 23
  4. Presidential Proclamation-National Oceans Month
  5. Presidential Proclamation- National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.