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National PrepareAthon Day – April 30, 2023

An obscure holiday, National PrepareAthon! Day is observed annually on April 30. It’s all about raising awareness about the importance of putting cautionary measures in place in case of emergencies like earthquakes, hurricanes, and even pandemics. This grassroots campaign was started by President Barrack Obama himself, to create a stir in families, communities, and organizations worldwide, about emergency planning and preparedness. The initiative also offers tools and resources to help you be more prepared when dealing with any emergencies. Through these tools, you and your loved ones can enjoy a smoother recovery from the harsh ripple effects of such disasters.

History of National PrepareAthon Day

When emergencies and disasters happen in our lives, they don’t leave us with enough time to plan, leaving us to make on-the-spot, immediate decisions. We find ourselves figuring things out as we go, and that leads us to dealing with difficult, sometimes even unredeemable side effects. But even though you can’t be completely prepared, it is always easier to navigate things when you have a plan in place, rather than throwing caution to the wind. This is what this holiday is all about — to remind us that crises happen suddenly, usually with no warning, and if you find yourself in the middle of an earthquake, flood, hurricane, or even a pandemic, preparedness will be the calm in the storm.

There are small actionable steps you can take to avoid being blindsided by unplanned and unfortunate predicaments. Things like owning an emergency kit and practicing emergency drills and protocols place you at an advantage when going through emergencies, while other steps like setting up insurance and securing your documents and valuables give us a softer landing afterward. An emergency kit is one of the easiest ways, and usually the first step towards a more prepared future. Think of it as a first aid kit for emergencies, only more packed. An emergency kit should typically have sustenance items to last at least 72 hours. These items may include non-perishable food and snacks, bottled water, a flashlight, batteries, a radio, as well as a first-aid kit.

National PrepareAthon! Day is an initiative that was started by President Barrack Obama to trigger global awareness of the necessity of emergency preparedness. This holiday, as well as National Preparedness Month, were part of his National Preparedness Initiative.

National PrepareAthon Day timeline

1952
An International Concern

The International Association of Emergency Managers (I.A.E.M.) is established.

1979
An American Priority

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is established as part of the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.).

2002
For the Citizens, By the Citizens

The Freedom Corps is established by President G. W. Bush to encourage voluntary participation in matters of homeland security.

2014
The Preparedness Marathon

The White House declares April 30 as National PrepareAthon! Day under the Preparedness Initiative by President Barack Obama.

National PrepareAthon Day FAQs

Is there a National PrepareAthon! Month?

National PrepareAthon! Day is part of President Barack Obama’s preparedness initiative, which was established as a federal reminder of the importance of staying prepared for emergencies. There is no National PrepareAthon! Month, but rather a National Preparedness Month that is observed annually in September.

Is the preparedness initiative only for natural disasters?

Although natural disasters are a major highlight of the importance of preparedness, this initiative is inclusive of all kinds of other emergencies. This may include terrorist attacks and insurgencies, as well as the steps towards overall recovery after those kinds of situations.

How can I secure my valuables in the case of an emergency?

The most effective way of securing your valuables is through insuring your most treasured items. This can include jewelry and other material possessions. For documents, owning multiple copies is advised, and also securing those copies safely in your emergency kit in a ziplock bag in case of a flood. Another neat and modern way of keeping your documents safe is uploading scanned copies or images of them on the cloud.

How to Observe National PrepareAthon Day

  1. Set up an emergency kit

    An emergency kit is one of the first steps towards a future of preparedness. Each family’s needs are different and the kit should be set up to meet those needs. Take some time out today to take steps toward a fully set-up emergency kit, whether it's getting the box or updating your current emergency kit.

  2. Set up your insurance

    Another great way to stay prepared and secure in the face of disaster is to set up your insurance. These days, almost anything you own, including your life and valuables, can be insured. So pick up your phone, make an appointment with an insurance agent, and start the processes towards a more insured future.

  3. Visit the FEMA website

    FEMA is the official organization geared toward emergency preparedness and management. They have valuable tools and resources that could help you stay prepared for a variety of disasters, from earthquakes to winter storms. Visiting their site will not only increase your knowledge but equip you with the actionable tools and decisions you need to stay prepared.

5 Facts About Natural Disasters

  1. Hurricanes cause major damage

    Hurricanes reach wind speeds of up to 160 miles per hour and release approximately 2.4 trillion gallons of rain in a day.

  2. Almost everyone is unprepared

    Studies show that 80% of people do not have a home evacuation plan, and another 60% are not aware of their city’s evacuation routes.

  3. Floods are the most common

    Floods are the most common natural disasters, with over 90% of natural disasters being flood-related.

  4. Valuables aren’t valued

    More than half of Americans do not own copies of their important documents like house titles and birth certificates.

  5. They are incredibly expensive

    Between 2002 and 2012, natural disasters caused about $1.7 trillion in damages.

Why National PrepareAthon Day is Important

  1. It prepares us

    National PrepareAthon! Day is about preparing for a safer, more secure future, when faced with disasters. We love this holiday because it not only advocates preparedness, but also equips us with the tools and resources we need to become more prepared in emergency situations.

  2. It educates us

    This holiday is a great way of helping us understand just how chaotic disasters and emergencies can be and educates us on the best ways to navigate them. It also lets us understand the value of things like owning an emergency kit, setting up insurance, and other practices to keep us prepared in the face of adversity.

  3. It raises awareness

    National PrepareAthon! Day raises awareness of the effects of emergencies and disasters, and the importance of preparedness. This holiday is observed nationwide, which means that the idea is to spread the word to families, communities, and organizations across the country, and hopefully the world.

National PrepareAthon Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 30Sunday
2024April 30Tuesday
2025April 30Wednesday
2026April 30Thursday
2027April 30Friday

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