Every year since 2012 we’ve worked with the City of Aurora and the American Red Cross to host the National Preparedness Month Fair. The idea behind this event is to engage the community and help residents develop a better awareness of the type of disasters that can strike the metropolitan area, help them understand available resources in the event of a disaster and, most importantly, help them create a personal plan to deal with these potential issues.
September is National Preparedness Month. It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities through the use of the Ready Campaign, a strategic outreach that delivers preparedness information to the public. The program has been active since 2004 and is centered on September due to the events that took place on September 11, 2001.
To date we held the National Preparedness Month Fair at Gardens on Havana, but as the Gardens retail area developed, we’ve been squeezed to an ever smaller parcel of land and this year the City of Aurora decided that a move to a new location would be appropriate. The 2015 Fair was held at Utah Park, one of the jewels in the Aurora parks systems.
Participating in this year’s Fair were
- AirLife Denver
- American Red Cross
- Arapahoe County ARES
- Aurora Fire Department
- Aurora Office of Emergency Management
- Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space
- Aurora Police Department
- Cherry Creek School District
- Code 3 Associates
- FEMA Region VIII
- National Weather Service
- Rampart SAR
- Rocky Mountain MRC
- Tri-County Health Department
Rough estimates place the attendees at around 1,000 over the course of the six hour event. Not a huge amount of people, but a very steady stream of curious individuals asking questions. A fair number expressed interest in participating with agencies that accept volunteers.
National Preparedness Month is not just one Saturday in September. It is a series of events sponsored by a multitude of agencies across the nation as a part of the Ready Campaign, culminating in America’s PrepareAthon on September 30. We would like to join FEMA in asking all of America to prepare, plan and stay informed. Learn about America’s PrepareAthon and as you do, take action, be counted and spread the word!