Kicking off the NFPA Conference & Expo education session agenda, were Allison Carlock with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and Tom Welle with NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division with their presentation on "America's PrepareAthon! Moving Millions to Prepare."
America's PrepareAthon is a grassroots, community campaign to inspire action and a shared responsibility for safety and emergency preparedness through group discussions, drills and exercises. Two days each year are designated for action: April 30 and September 30. To help communities with their campaigns, FEMA produces many free resources that are fully customizable, related to six hazards; wildfires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, winter storms and tornados. A great example of one of these is the animation video below.
Also detailed in the session was Wildfire Preparedness Day, a national campaign by NFPA that FEMA helps to support in honor of America's PrepareAthon - helping people ready for wildfires. A recent survey by FEMA (full results to be shared soon) found that only 37% of people in wildfire prone areas feel it is helpful to prepare for wildfire. Much education is to be done, and these types of grassroots, community campaigns will help. A list of ideas for preparation projects, communication and evacuation tips was created to help people realize that a lot can be done very easily that will help reduce risk. Find these resources and more at Wildfire Preparedness Day's website.