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September is National Preparedness Month

Every year, the United States observes National Preparedness Month in September to remind Americans to be ready for any disaster — man-made or natural — that could affect you, your home, your communities, or your businesses. This month aims to reduce the fallout of large-scale emergencies by preparing every citizen, young and old.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created National Preparedness Month (NPM) three years after the September 11 attacks to encourage every American to plan for emergencies. This month is managed and sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign. They chose September for its historical significance and the fact that the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is in the middle of this month.

FEMA, for its part, has been around since the 1800s — as a legislative act, initially, and was officially launched by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. The September terror attacks spurred the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and FEMA became an agency under this department.

2022 Theme: A Lasting Legacy

The life you’ve built is worth protecting. Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.


1889 First Peacetime Mobilization The American Red Cross's response to the Johnstown Flood is the first time this agency has mobilized for a peacetime effort. 1906 The Worst Natural Disaster An earthquake hits San Francisco and is labeled one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. April 1, 1979 FEMA is Born! America realizes the need for a centralized emergency management system after repeated major natural disasters in the 1960s and 1970s; President Jimmy Carter signs an executive order establishing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 2002 FEMA Gets New Management In response to the 9/11 attacks, President Bush creates a new agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); FEMA is taken under this department. 2004 Our Month Launches FEMA establishes National Preparedness Month (NPM), which is managed and sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign, in conjunction with the Ad Council.


Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency is located at 260 Cedar Bluff Road – Suite 104, Centre, Alabama 35960. Shawn Rogers is the Director and Alex Abernathy is EMA/Homeland Security Officer. They can be reached by phone at (256)927-3367, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.


Stay weather aware, download Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency mobile app, and/or signup for the free code red alerts by scanning the QR codes below.

QR Code for Cherokee County EMA Mobile APP

QR Code for Code Red alerts


Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

  2. What is my shelter plan?

  3. What is my evacuation route?

  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

  5. Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some of these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household

  • Responsibilities for assisting others

  • Locations frequented

  • Dietary needs

  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

  • Languages spoken

  • Cultural and religious considerations

  • Pets or service animals

  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Create a Family Emergency Plan

Make a Family Communication Plan quickly and easily with our fillable form.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

For more information, you can always click on these links.


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