Emergency Management News

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How did you participate in #PrepareAthon?

America’s PrepareAthon! Events Recap

Thank you for making the spring 2015 America’s PrepareAthon! and the April 30 National PrepareAthon! Day such a success. More than 7.5 million people have been participating in PrepareAthon! events so far this year. We appreciate your efforts in creating a more resilient nation. Here’s a recap of some of the exciting activities from across the country.
Several communities practiced preparing for tornadoes. Spartanburg County, South Carolina held its first America’s PrepareAthon! event which included a countywide tornado drill involving several schools, businesses, and two hospitals. According to local officials, nearly 60,000 people participated in the drill. At the same time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division conducted the South Carolina Statewide Tornado Drill. Local media coverage included stories on WSPA-TV (CBS)WFXG-TV (Fox) and in the Spartanburg Herald Journal
Schools in Louisa County, Virginia held their second America’s PrepareAthon! event where more than 6,000 students participated in preparedness activities, including a statewide tornado drill and sheltering-in-place. 
Students at Jouett Elementary School learned about tornadoes and safety procedures. During mini-assemblies, students in kindergarten through fifth grade learned how to identify the early warning signs of a tornado and made emergency kits and communications plans to share with their families. Louisa County plans to continue its participation in America’s PrepareAthon! during National Preparedness Month in September and theGreat Shakeout Earthquake Drill in October!
Other communities prepared for earthquakes. Nearly one million residents in Utah participated in the Utah ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. Held each spring, the Utah ShakeOut helps residents practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in response to an earthquake. The event also included preparedness fairs  across the state in support of America’s PrepareAthon!
During the America’s PrepareAthon! event in Los Angeles County, California, participants experienced simulated earthquakes in a shake trailer and watched an earthquake preparedness video. Also, the American Red cross hosted a puppet show and talked to children about the Pillowcase Project, a disaster preparedness education program that teaches students in grades 3 – 5 about personal and family preparedness. Students received a sturdy pillowcase after completing the program, and they were encouraged to store their personal emergency supplies kit in the pillowcase. In addition, FEMA and the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management held an interactive preparedness quiz and distributed emergency preparedness brochures. 
On National PrepareAthon! Day, many families, business, and organizations shared their activities on Twitter using #PrepareAthon. Take a look at ourcollection of photos to see their preparedness in action.

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