National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

Each September, National Preparedness Month encourages and reminds Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.  Use this opportunity to find ways or help others understand more about preparing for disasters and reducing risks to your health and to the environment.

Seconds save lives

Even seconds of advance warning can save lives.  Not safe at home, work, or school due to a disaster?  You will need to go to a safe place and then meet up with the people you care about. It’s hard to know ahead of time where these safe places might be. These places could also change based on the kind of emergency you are facing. You can dial 211 on your phone to find a 2-1-1 public shelter.

Dial 211

In many states, dialing “211” provides individuals and families with a shortcut through what can be a bewildering maze of health and human service agency phone numbers.  By simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance can be referred, and sometimes connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations.

How 211 Works

211 works a bit like 911.  Calls to 211 are routed by the local telephone company to a local or regional calling center.  The 211 center’s referral specialists receive requests from callers and access databases of resources available from private, public health and human service agencies.  Then the operator can match the callers’ needs to available resources.  Then they will be linked to or refer them directly to an agency or organization that can help in their area.

211 Availability

211 is available to approximately 309 million people, which is 94.6 percent of the total U.S. population. Most importantly, 211 covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To find out whether 211 services are offered in your area and to obtain more information, visit

EPA is there to Help

The EPA’s website shares many ways to reduce risks from contamination, leaks, spills, hazardous materials, and other dangers.

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