National Preparedness Month kicks off on September 1, and Cobb & Douglas Public Health is urging the community to take time to learn about the risks of natural disasters and how to prepare for an unexpected emergency. The theme this year is ‘“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through, has broken this year’s Preparedness Month into four weeks of topics for residents to get involved:

Additionally, residents can focus on being informed about how and where specific emergencies occur, building supply kits and working with neighbors to make community plans through use of detailed “playbooks” and readiness tips for each of the most common emergencies:

  1. EarthquakesEarthquakes can occur suddenly and be deadly. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass and falling objects.
  1. FloodsFlooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere.
  1. HurricanesHurricanes have the power to cause widespread devastation and can affect both coastal and inland areas.
  1. TornadoesTornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms, and can cause death, injury and destruction within seconds.
  1. Wild FiresWildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources and agriculture.
  1. Winter StormsWinter storms can occur anywhere and bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds or a combination of all these conditions. They can cause power outages that last for days or weeks, making it hard to keep warm and making travel very dangerous.

For more information about National Preparedness Month and for detailed information about the most common emergencies and how you can prepare, visit or call 1-800-BE-READY for more information.