National Preparedness Month — September 2016

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Throughout September, CDC and approximately 3,000 global, national, regional, and local government organizations, as well as private and public institutions, will promote the importance of being ready for emergencies (13). For Preparedness Month 2016, CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response will focus on the power of preparedness globally and locally and actions that can be taken collectively and individually (1).

Being prepared saves lives. Public health emergencies might take the shape of an emerging or rapidly spreading disease, a natural disaster, or an act of bioterrorism. While the nature, timing, and location of the next threat cannot be anticipated, developing programs to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies can mitigate the impact of the unknown (2). Persons can take action now by having a family reunification plan and an emergency kit with basic supplies, medicines, and local emergency telephone numbers.

During preparedness month, CDC’s Public Health Matters blog (3) will feature stories about how countries are partnering to advance health security, how emergencies prompt innovation and training, how states respond to new disease threats, and how every person plays a powerful role in protecting our communities and families. Preparedness Month will include infographics, social media, and a Twitter chat on September 27 @CDCEmergency. The month culminates with National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30. Additional information about CDC’s Preparedness Month is available at


  1. CDC. National preparedness month. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  2. CDC. Global health security: international health regulations (IHR). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  3. CDC. Public health matters blog. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.

Suggested citation for this article: National Preparedness Month — September 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:949. DOI:

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