Being prepared means having a plan


Across the United States, communities prepare for a vast variety of weather events from tornadoes to hurricanes and earthquakes to wildfires. Living in Germany, the weather may be a bit milder, but being prepared is a concept that applies no matter where one lives.

“It’s important everywhere; no matter where you are,” said Chuck Banfi, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Protection Program manager.

September’s National Preparedness Month is recognized each year to bring attention to the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme is, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”


Besides weather events, National Preparedness Month also highlights preparation for man-made events, pandemics such as the current coronavirus situation, and ensuring all family members know what to do in an emergency.

“The biggest thing is to be prepared,” Banfi said. “In order to be prepared you have to have a plan.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s ready.gov website offers information to educate people on what to consider in all types of disasters. It includes considerations for different populations such as information for seniors and pet owners. The Ready Kids section has information tailored to get children involved in the planning and conversation.

At the onset of an emergency, first responders are looking to save lives. Individuals and families should be prepared to fend for themselves for at least three days, Banfi said, and possibly more depending on the scope of the emergency.

National Preparedness Month highlights a new topic for each week in September at ready.gov. Topics already covered include making a plan, building a kit and preparing for disasters.

The theme for Sept. 20-26 is Teach Youth about Preparedness.

Parents should talk to their kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case family members are separated. Parents can reassure children by providing information about how they can get involved.

Keep an eye on the Garrison Facebook page throughout the month for more tips on readiness and visit ready.gov today to begin planning.