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Are you ready for the unexpected?

Photo of the Ghostbusters wagon chasing a ghost, part of the campaign.

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. 

Launched in 2004, NPM is managed and sponsored by FEMA, in conjunction with the Ad Council, and aims to educate and empower Americans throughout the year to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Other participants include the National Weather Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

If you haven't taken the time to think about how different disasters could affect you, then now is a good time to take the necessary steps to become informed and develop a family plan for such events.

Different campaigns in recent years have urged Americans to "Prepare to Protect" their loved ones, and offered the encouragement that if you can plan a wedding or a barbecue, you can plan for disaster. 

A recent campaign has also created a clever Ghostbusters: Afterlife PSA to remind viewers that preparing for the unexpected comes down to simple steps that even kids can follow.

For more information, visit

For an easy-to-follow guide that covers some extra things you might not have thought about, check out the NWS Birmingham, Ala, NPM page from 2021, though some links are region-specific.