Healthy people, families, and communities.




National Preparedness Month, is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. The 2019 theme is "Prepared, Not Scared."

2019 Weekly Themes



  • #BeReady

  • #PreparedNotScared

Weekly Themes:

Week 1:  Save Early for Disaster Costs  

Web Resources

Key Messages:

  • Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance at #PrepareNow #FloodSmart

  • #PrepareNow. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim after a flood. #BeReady

  • Start talking with your children early about money. Include kids in discussions about saving for a disaster. Get ideas for how to involve them at #PrepareNow #BeReady #YouthPrep

  • 30 Days: The number of days it takes for most flood insurance policies to go into effect. Don’t wait until it’s too late! For more information vist: #PrepareNow #BeReady

  • Are you financially prepared for a natural disaster? Learn how to make a plan with @CFPB’s tips: #BeReady

  • What important documents should you have for an emergency? Download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, which will walk you through the planning process: #PrepareNow

  • Plan ahead: how will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes? #PrepareNow with the help of these tips and free resources: #BeReady

  • According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans don't have $400 in savings.  What will you do if there is a disaster!  Learn tips to become more financially prepared: #BeReady

  • Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies, since ATMs and credit card readers won’t always be available. Cash can help pay for immediate expenses like lodging, food and gas. Learn more: #BeReady

  • Set aside a small amount from each paycheck to go into your savings account. Find more tips to help you manage your money to be prepared for the unexpected: #BeReady

Week 2: Make a Plan

Web Resources

Key Messages:

  • Be Prepared. Make an emergency plan today & practice it: #PrepareNow #BeReady

  • Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get started today: #PrepareNow

  • It’s important to include kids in the disaster planning process. Review your family emergency plan together so that they know what to do even if you are not there: #YouthPrep #PrepareNow

  • Practice your fire escape plan by having a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home. #PrepareNow #BeReady

  • Download a group texting app so your entire circle of family and friends can keep in touch before, during & after an emergency.  #PrepareNow

  • Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more familiar if you need to evacuate in an emergency.  #PrepareNow

  • Be prepared. Get the @fema app with weather alerts for up to 5 locations, plus disaster resources and safety tips: #BeReady #PrepareNow.

  • Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment. #PrepareNow

  • Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home. #PrepareNow #BeReady

  • Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, & meds to last for at least 72 hours: #PrepareNow

Week 3: Youth Preparedness

Web Resources

Key Messages:

  • Teach children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away from home. #BeReady #YouthPrep

  • Help your kids know how to communicate during an emergency. Review these topics with them: Sending text message; Emergency contact numbers; Dialing 9-1-1 for help #PrepareNow #BeReady #YouthPrep

  • Update school records and discuss emergency contact numbers with kids before they go:  #BackToSchool #YouthPrep

  • Add your kids’ school’s social media info to the family communication plan: #ReadyKids

  • Review your family emergency communications plan with kids at your next household meeting. #YouthPrep #ReadyKids

  • Include your child's medication or supplies in your family’s emergency kit. More tips visit: #ReadyKids

  • Include your child's favorite stuffed animals, board games, books or music in their emergency kit to comfort them in a disaster. #YouthPrep

  • Get the kids involved in building their own emergency kit:  #YouthPrep #ReadyKids

  • Kids can #BeAForce... by playing the online emergency preparedness "Build a Kit" game: #YouthPrep #ReadyKids

  • Speak Up! Ask your child’s teacher about the plans the school has in place for emergencies. #BacktoSchool #YouthPrep

  • Your kids can become Disaster Masters with this @Readygov preparedness game: #YouthPrep

  • Are your students prepared for an emergency? Download curriculum for grades 1-12 for your classroom: #YouthPrep

  • 4th and 5th Grade Teachers: STEP up and use this emergency preparedness curriculum: #YouthPrep

  • Teaching kids about disaster prep is important. See the 9 steps @FEMA @RedCross @usedgov have for #YouthPrep

Week 4: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

Web Resources

Key Messages:

  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face. Find your local CERT: #BeReady
  • Learn about the hazards most likely to affect your community and their appropriate responses. #BeReady #PrepareNow
  • Every community has voluntary organizations that work during disasters. Visit to see what organizations are active in your community. #BeReady
  • Encourage students to join Teen CERT so they can respond during emergencies. Learn more: #YouthPrep
  • Your community needs YOU! Find youth volunteer and training opportunities to help your community here: #YouthPrep #BeReady
  • Finding support from friends, family, and community organizations can help kids cope with #disasters. #YouthPrep
  • Take classes in lifesaving skills, such as CPR/AED and first aid, or in emergency response, such as CERT. #PrepareNow #BeReady
  • Check in with neighbors to see how you can help each other out before and after a storm #HurricanePrep
  • If you have a disability, plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services, public transportation or paratransit to identify accessible transportation options. #BeReady

  • If you have a disability contact your city or county government’s emergency management agency or office. Many keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency.  #BeReady

NIAM 2018 web

Georgia Department of Public Health Urges Georgia Residents to Protect Themselves by 

Getting Immunized during National Immunization Awareness Month


NORTH GEORGIA – It’s time to really think about vaccinations.


“August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and it’s when we particularly urge parents to make an appointment to get themselves and their families vaccinated.” said Ashley Deverell, RN, BSN, Immunization Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District, based in Dalton. “Vaccinations are our best defense against vaccine-preventable diseases and are available at all our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties.”


People of all ages require timely vaccinations to protect their health, and in August, public health advisors especially focus on vaccinations needed for pregnant women, babies and young children, preteens and teens, adults, and children entering or heading back to school.


Every adult in Georgia (19 years of age and older) should follow the recommended immunization schedule by age and medical condition. Vaccinations protect you and they protect others around you, especially infants and those individuals who are unable to be immunized or who have weakened immune systems. It is always a good idea to have the adult vaccine schedule nearby as a reference and to make sure you are current on your immunizations. This link is to the recommended adult immunization schedule:


Vaccines protect families, teens and children by preventing disease. They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and pneumococcal disease. Vaccinations also reduce absences both at school and at work and decrease the spread of illness in the home, workplace and community.


Before starting seventh grade, all students born on or after January 1, 2002 and entering or transferring into seventh grade will need proof of a whooping cough booster shot and a meningococcal shot unless the child has an exemption on file with the school.


And, looking ahead for the 2020-2021 school year, all students entering or transferring into 11th grade will need proof of a meningococcal booster shot (MCV4), unless their first dose was received on or after their 16th birthday. Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that affects the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can cause shock, coma and death within hours of the first symptoms. To help protect your children and others from meningitis, Georgia law requires students be vaccinated against this disease, unless the child has an exemption.


Some schools, colleges, and universities have policies requiring vaccination against meningococcal disease as a condition of enrollment. Students aged 21 years or younger should have documentation of receipt of a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine not more than five years before enrollment. If the primary dose was administered before their 16th birthday, a booster dose should be administered before enrollment in college.


“The focus of vaccinations often lies on young children, but it’s just as important for teens, college students and adults to stay current on their vaccinations.” said Shelia Lovett, Director of the Immunization Program of the Georgia Department of Public Health.


This August, protect your family by getting vaccinated. The North Georgia Health District remind adults to check with their local county health department or healthcare provider for their current vaccination recommendations, and parents are urged to check for their children. Safe and effective vaccines are available to protect adults and children alike against potentially life-threatening diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, shingles, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox). So, visit your public health department or talk to your health care provider and get immunized today.


For more information on immunization, visit