Family Preparedness Friday

We are rolling out something new this week, Family Preparedness Fridays. Each Friday we will highlight a way you can get your family prepared for a disaster.

What better way to help get the family prepared for the next disaster than to get the kids involved. Have the kids help complete the word search below, then use the word list as a starting point for collecting items for your family’s disaster preparedness kit. Most of these items can be found around the house, so grab a box or tote and let the family start getting prepared!


To complete this puzzle online click here. For a printable PDF click here.

More resources on Family Preparedness are available on the EDEN website by clicking here.

Prepare for National Preparedness Month

Next month is the eighth presentation of National Preparedness Month (NPM) and the tenth anniversary of the New York Twin Towers destruction. To honor those who died and those who responded to the tragic event in 2001, this year’s NPM theme is “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare.”

To get the most benefit from FEMA’s toolkit, you must register. Becoming a coalition member is a simple process and opens the door to lots of resources. Once you’ve registered, you will have the opportunity to join your (FEMA) regional forum where you can connect with regional coalition members. This is an online discussion group that focuses on ideas and topics specific to your region.  

You can also join a national preparedness discussion. This online collaboration allows you to view, create and respond to discussions using the website or directly from your email.

Coalition members have access to customizable products, including a preparedness presentation, and a bill stuffer and posters in English and Spanish.  There are also promotional materials.

EDEN continues to partner in the campaign. Our materials are complementary to those found on the ReadyNPM site. You’ll also see two examples of member institution preparedness efforts.

 Do you have a success story or an idea for promoting preparedness? Please share it with us!

Youthful Ambitions

This is a second blog post from Rick Atterberry and me. We  recently attended: Implementing Youth Emergency Preparedness into Your Organization. Sponsored by Citizen Corps. FEMA has had a Children’s Working Group since 2009.

The United States has had 34 presidentially declared disasters in 2011, noted Andrew Velasquez, FEMA Region V Administrator. And we all know most disasters are not presidentially declared. In any case, the frequency of disasters set the tone for the rest of the conference.

For preparedness messages, we are in for the long game. For people to practice disaster preparedness, we must have cultural change, just as the seat belt usage was a cultural chance. Because disasters occurred more often in this decade. Konstantine Buhler, founder of Always Ready Kids, age 22, ( ) calls his generation the “disaster generation.” It will be that generation and younger who will adopt disaster preparedness. In the conference, it became clear, that we should look for ways to include youth on disaster advocacy groups such as Voluntary or Community Organizations Active in Disasters and Citizen Corps and invite them to have a person at the table.

In the long-term effort, we need to be very organized to take the message to the schools. Develop or clarify the mission, vision, and goals for youth preparedness programs if you want them into the schools.

Be prepared to approach the schools from a top, middle and bottom approach, and involve parent teacher organizations. Think about assemblies with energetic programs with characters, if possible. Be very organized and flexible. If you can win one principle, the word spreads.

Here are some people and resources of note from this conference:

Catalogue of Youth Disaster Preparedness Resources is located with other resources at .

Sgt. Kevin Sweeney, Michigan Citizen Corps does great work implementing programs. He makes a great conference workshop speaker if you can catch him.  Jackie Miller with Ready Houston has great youth oriented programs, and Tod Pritchard, Wisconsin Emergency Management program has a ready to use STEP (Student Tools for Emergency Planning) program. He’s already thinking about STEP 2.

In the end, any kind of preparedness training may give them the confidence to handle any emergency better. It’s a matter of culture.