CDC Digital Media Toolkit:

Personal Health Preparedness

National Preparedness Month Header 2019

Every September, the Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) along with its preparedness and response partners in government, private and public health, and academia come together to observe National Preparedness Month (NPM) and encourage year-round personal and community preparedness for disasters, disease outbreaks, and human-caused emergencies.

This year, CPR is marking the occasion with the release of a new Personal Health Preparedness Digital Toolkit.

What is Personal Health Preparedness?

Personal health preparedness is about having the wherewithal to care for and protect your health and wellness in the immediate aftermath of an emergency or disaster. That means having the supplies, skill, and self-confidence to bounce back from a difficult or life-changing event like a natural disaster.

Large-scale events, like hurricanes, can cause widespread destruction and long-lasting power outages, disrupt supply chains, and strain public health and health care systems.

When access to resources and the availability of services is limited, it is important to have an emergency supplies kit that includes items from the following categories:

How to Use This Toolkit

We want you to think of this Personal Health Preparedness Toolkit as your own. These materials are downloadable, shareable, and—in some cases—customizable. Here are five (5) easy ways to use this toolkit.

  1. Share our graphics on social media. Pair them with one of our suggested social media messages or a message of your own choosing.
  2. Download, print, post, and share our factsheets .
  3. Reprint one of our posts  on your agency’s blog.
  4. Insert a blurb  in your next newsletter.
  5. Add our Prepare Your Health graphic to your signature block.

We welcome all feedback, including ideas for future toolkits. If you have any thoughts on how we can improve the usability and usefulness of our resources, please email us at

Personal needs

Personal Needs

Personal needs refers to the unique items—supplies, equipment, and tools—you need to protect your physical, mental, and emotional health and safety in an emergency.



About half of all Americans take a prescription medication as part of their daily routine. A disaster could make it difficult to find an open pharmacy and/or get your prescription filled. If possible, organize and protect your prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins to prepare for an emergency.



Paperwork refers to any important papers that might help you prove medical coverage, ownership, or your identity after an emergency. Collect and protect insurance cards, identification documents, and copies of emergency action plans to prepare for a short-notice evacuation because of a wildfire, earthquake, or other event.

Power sources

Power Sources

On average, people experience about four hours of power loss each year. Power outages caused by a large-scale disaster can last much longer and—as a result—can become life threatening for people who rely on electrically powered medical equipment and devices. Be prepared for a prolonged blackout with alternative heating and lighting, and backup power sources for your cellphone, appliances (i.e., refrigerator), and power-dependent medical devices.

Practical skills

Practical Skills

Practical skills are self-health and life-saving skills and lessons that you can learn and practice—some of them every day—to prepare for an emergency. Teach and encourage those around you to learn practical skills. When family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers complete CPR training, for example, it protects your health (you can’t perform chest compressions on yourself) and can help build resilience in your community.

Print Ready Materials

Reprint these sample posts as is or customize them for publication on your agency’s blog. We appreciate your help in getting people to prepare their health for emergencies and disasters.

NPM Signature Block

National Preparedness Month 2019
Prepare Your Health: Personal Health Preparedness
CDC CPR | Twitter | Facebook | #PrepYourHealth
Keeping the US prepared and ready to respond to public health threats

Page last reviewed: September 5, 2019, 01:20 PM