Preparing for a Disaster: What You Need to Know

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Four black individuals, two younger and two older, with their arms around each other and smiling for the camera.

Four black individuals, two younger and two older, with their arms around each other and smiling for the camera. Text in photo reads: 2022 National Preparedness Month: Protect Your Legacy.September is National Preparedness Month. This awareness effort, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reminds all citizens and communities to prepare themselves for a disaster or an emergency, which can happen at any time during the year.

This year’s theme is “A Lasting Legacy.” FEMA is emphasizing the importance of protecting one’s family, teaching children about emergency preparedness and making sure individuals and families have a plan to respond effectively in the event of a disaster.

The federal agency is also reaching out to individuals, families and organizations in underserved communities to support their efforts to protect themselves. In 2022, FEMA will feature a call to action for the Black and African American community.

As part of emergency preparedness, FEMA recommends that individuals and families:

  • Become aware of the types of disasters and hazards that could potentially happen in the area where they live and work.
  • Create an emergency plan, and practice it often.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts.
  • Know where to go if evacuation is necessary.
Animated graphic with different items needed for an emergency kit.  Text reads: Build a kit with everyone in mind graphic, National Preparedness Month

Resources to Help Prepare in Case of Disaster

FEMA has free resources on its website including:

LSS Provides Long-Term Support After a Disaster

Being ready for disaster means both preventing harm to you and your loved ones and having a network of resources if you do need assistance. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota’s Disaster Services stands ready to provide that assistance.

When individuals and communities experience disaster, it can take months or years for them to begin to regain a sense of normalcy. Families are often left to repair their homes, replace their precious belongings, and heal from the trauma they experienced, all while feeling very much alone —leaving survivors mentally, financially and emotionally exhausted.

An adult and young children sit on the floor and participate in an activity together.
A Camp Noah volunteer and children attending a Camp Noah event participate in an activity together.

Much of LSS Disaster Services’ work is long-term recovery. We stand with Minnesota families as they pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives after initial recovery efforts end and the disaster response organizations go home. LSS’ services include long-term disaster case management, assistance with rebuilding, mental health supports and financial counseling. Learn more about LSS Disaster Services.

Disasters can take an emotional toll on children as well. LSS' Camp Noah is there to provide support.

At Camp Noah, children experience the power of hope and healing through a nationally-acclaimed curriculum that helps build resiliency through creative activities and play. Children are served in their own communities and experience a safe and caring environment to develop the skills to overcome their trauma. They are encouraged to face their fears, grieve their losses, identify and share their unique gifts and talents, and plan for an amazing future.

Learn more about Camp Noah.