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COLUMBUS - September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). NPM was originally created by FEMA's Ready Campaign in response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, in order to educate the public on how to prepare for all hazards and emergencies.
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency and ReadyOhio have committed to participate in National Preparedness to increase readiness throughout Ohio and the United States. NPM, is now in its ninth year. This year's NPM theme is: You Can Be the Hero. FEMA and the Ready Campaign are urging the country's communities to take the pledge of preparedness.

One of NPM's key messages is: Be Prepared in the event an emergency causes you to be self-reliant for at least three days without utilities, electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or maybe even without response from police, fire or rescue. Preparing can start with four key steps:

* Be Informed about emergencies that could happen in your community. Access for information on Ohio's hazards and what to before, during and after an emergency.

* Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your household or care. For sample plans, visit

* Build a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies - water, nonperishable food, first aid supplies, prescriptions, flashlight and a battery-powered radio - on hand for you and the household.

* Get Involved: There are many ways to get involved, especially before a disaster occurs. Community leaders agree that the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public, and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Look into volunteer programs like local chapters of the American Red Cross and Ohio Citizen Corps. Visit

On Sept. 9, Ohio EMA is partnering with HandsOn, Central Ohio for setup of the annual Field of Flags 9/11 Memorial on the Ohio Statehouse Lawn. Approximately 3,000 small U.S. flags will be arranged on the Statehouse West Lawn to silhouette the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. Each flag represents a life lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

For more information about the Ready Campaign and National Preparedness Month, visit and "Like" Ohio EMA on Facebook and read more on preparedness tips and how You Can Be the Hero.