September is a good time to practice emergency preparedness

September is a good time to practice emergency preparedness

DEMA's Anytime Anywhere campaign promotes flood awareness

What’s your plan if threatened by a flood, a wildfire or other emergency? Have you talked with your family about what to do and where to meet? Are you prepared for a disaster?

If not, it’s never too late to start. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) promotes Whole Community preparedness and offers many resources begin preparing for an emergency, especially in September. Governor Ducey proclaimed September as Arizona Preparedness Month to coincide with National Preparedness Month.

DEMA encourages families, businesses and the whole community to prepare for and mitigate against emergencies. This September, the preparedness focus is on flooding. Most Arizonans aren’t aware of the serious threat flooding poses to people and property statewide.

Since 2010, the State of Arizona has spent more than $15 million on flooding damage. Every county has experienced flooding events and ensuing destruction in the past five years. The wide-spread flooding in September 2014 cost the state an estimated $4.5 million in response, recovery and mitigation actions.


“Anytime. Anywhere.” PSA

Arizona experiences up to 100 floods each year, which can also be costly for home and business owners. DEMA’s “Anytime. Anywhere.” flood awareness campaign reminds people that everyone is at risk of being affected by flooding, regardless of location or time of year.

The campaign consists of bilingual radio and TV spots and billboards designed to educate the public in a lighthearted manner about the very real risks of flooding, while encouraging them to prepare now.

The FloodSafeAZ website provides preparedness tips, explains the cost of flooding based on water levels, and helps residents determine if they live in a flood zone. If they do live in a flood zone, they are encouraged to speak with an insurance provider to get flood insurance. They also should mitigate their homes with precautions such as raise the height of electrical sockets, raise the water heater base, have sandbags on hand and have a preparedness plan.

For more information on the “Anytime. Anywhere” campaign, visit


Emergency Kit Cook-Off

Get creative in the kitchen to practice preparedness. The Emergency Kit Cook-Off is a participatory preparedness activity inspired by the nonperishable contents of a 72-hour emergency supplies kit.

This year’s Emergency Kit Cook-Off challenges participants to combine America’s favorite pastime with emergency preparedness. The theme, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” encourages cooks to create a recipe that uses at least one featured ingredient and only nonperishable pantry and kit items. This year’s featured ingredients are:

  •  Cracker Jack®
  •  Peanuts (any variety)
  • Canned corn, as in “can of corn” or a high, easy-to-catch fly ball.
  • Potato, as in a “tater” or a homerun.
  •  Pickled fruits and vegetables (any variety), as in “caught in a pickle” or a rundown between bases.

Participants are also asked to use manual tools (e.g., can openers and hand whisk) instead of electrical appliances (e.g., blenders and microwaves) in the preparation.

Recipe and photo submissions are published on, where visitors to the website can print, rate and share recipes.

People who submit a recipe during National Preparedness Month in September will receive a Kit Cook-Off apron while supplies last.


Prepare Now

DEMA encourages people to do at least one activity this month in order to be better prepared for potential emergencies. Ideas include:

  • Make a family communication plan. The plan identifies how families will stay in touch if they are not together when a disaster strikes. Include important phone numbers (e.g., doctors, caregivers, schools, work, etc.), an out-of-town contact, as well as neighborhood and areameeting places where your family should meet in an emergency. Make copies of this plan for all family members and those that provide support (babysitters, caregivers, etc). Download a fill-in-the-blank plan.
  • Pack an emergency supplies kit that includes three days of food, water, medicine, a battery-operated radio,extra batteries and other necessities. Radios are important so the public can receive messages from emergency officials about the situation and what protective actions to take. Download an emergency supplies checklist.
  • Be Informed. Educate yourself on the potential risks around you. Know what is in your neighborhood and what other hazards you might run into around the state.
  • Inspire others.Be a good preparedness example by inspiring others to donate blood, learn CPR and have a fire drill at home.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit