Pledge to prepare and get involved during National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). It was created in 2003 to help increase citizen emergency preparedness in the U.S. and focus on preparing themselves, those in their care and the community, for any unexpected emergency.

“As always, my personal and professional message is and will always be: ‘Be prepared, make a plan, know your plan and practice your plan,’” said Jeffrey Jelinski, communications supervisor for the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office. “As we know, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ there is going to be a disaster it’s ‘when.’ Always be as prepared as you possibly can be for the unexpected.”

Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) takes the stand that preparedness is a shared responsibility and takes a whole community. This year HSEM is joining FEMA in asking the public to “Pledge to Prepare” by taking specific actions.

Individuals, businesses and organizations are asked to commit to doing at least one of the following:

• Be informed – Learn about local hazards and risk and their appropriate responses;

• Build an emergency kit – be ready to survive on your own;

• Make a communications plan – keep yourself and family in touch; and

• Get involved – Find out about preparedness in the community.

“I appreciate the message statement used, ‘Pledge to Prepare.’ If we pledge to prepare there is no doubt we will be that much more prepared for tomorrow and if we are prepared for tomorrow we will have a much better day today,” said Jelinski.

For more information on National Preparedness Month and for help getting one’s family, business or community prepared, visit or call 1 (800) 237-3239.