Did you know most people are unprepared to cope with a disaster? The Federal Emergency Management Agency is taking a new approach in hopes to change that.
A new ad campaign was launched by FEMA and the Ad Society. FEMA plans to devote time encouraging people to understand the steps in preparing for and living through natural disasters.
"We want people to be prepared beforehand,"Red Cross spokeswoman, Autum Mihm, said.
The month of September is upon us and with that comes National Preparedness Month. Each week will feature a different theme. The first weeks are about reconnecting with family after a disaster and building your emergency kit.
"It's hard to pull your emergency kit together at the last minute," New Hanover County Senior Emergency Management specialist, Steven Still, said. "If you don't know where to go or who to call, then your sort of behind the curve."
Generally, a disaster plan should include lists of family meeting places, emergency contacts, special needs for your family or business, and a plan for your pets.
Mihm explained that non-perishable foods and water are also important to include.
"You really want one gallon, per person, per day," Mihm said.
Still added medical supplies and considerations for your pets.
Social media has been one way FEMA has spread the word using multiple outlets and hashtags to spark interest.
You can tweet using #NatlPrep or #PrepareAthon. You can also update your Facebook cover photo to get the conversation started.
The social media campaign is headed by the Ad Society and FEMA. According to its website, they've already reached nearly four-million people.
"Our digital reach here for this region, eastern North Carolina, is well over one million," Mihm said.
The end of September will be a push for families and businesses to put their emergency plans to the test.
"You can think something in your head, but until you put it into play is when you know it's going to work for certain," Still said.
Mihm also says if you have any questions, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit their website.
If you'd like to join the movement or learn more on how to prepare for a natural disaster, you can visit the campaign's website.