Since 2001, the month of September has been designated by the U.S. government as National Preparedness Month. The purpose of this event it to highlight the importance of being ready in the case of a disaster. To help in this effort, the Federal Emergency Management Agency set up the site to help people walk through what they consider the three steps of disaster preparedness: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. To help set people see the power of preparedness they put together this interesting map of past disasters: Today is the Day Before.

The events of this past week with Hurricane Isaac making landfall on the Gulf Coast exactly seven-years after Hurricane Katrina serve as a double reminder of the importance of preparedness. Hurricane Katrina for the affects of non-preparedness and Isaac for how preparedness can and hopefully will continue to make a difference. Preparedness is not mean as a gaurantee that disaster will not reach us, but is meant to allow us to lessen the affects of disaster upon our lives. So that if we are affected we can respond appropriately, efficiently and effectively.

This is a big part of what ELCA Disaster Response, internationally and domestically (through Lutheran Disaster Response), is focused on doing. We are here to help people prepare for risks in their area and to respond when these risks (seen and unseen) become reality. So as we continue into this month please take time to create or re-check your family’s and your congregation’s emergency preparedness plan. Also, please consider gifts to ELCA Disaster Response to help us in our work of disaster preparedness and response.

Gifts to ELCA Disaster Response allow the church to respond at home and globally in times of need. Donate now.