Certainly, 2020 will go down in the books as one very full and challenging year. From the pandemic to protests to one of the most active hurricane seasons in recent history (and one that is on pace to potentially be the most active season since records began in 1851), no time has better emphasized the importance of being ready for disasters and whatever else may come. September is National Preparedness Month, as noted in this year’s White House Proclamation on National Preparedness Month 2020.
“During National Preparedness Month, we pause to reflect on the importance of mitigating the effects of disasters and tragedies on our lives by devoting time and resources to being prepared… Promoting a culture of resilience through preparedness helps enable communities and individuals to take the preparatory actions necessary to overcome the threats and hazards that present themselves.” – White House Proclamation on National Preparedness Month 2020.
“During National Preparedness Month, I encourage all Americans to adopt a proactive mindset and take the necessary steps to prepare their families and communities to withstand and recover from unexpected events. We cannot always know when the next crisis will occur, but we can know that we will be prepared by committing ourselves to a culture of resilience.” – White House Proclamation on National Preparedness Month 2020.
At FB-ISAO, we strongly believe in a personal and community commitment to preparedness. As part of our community effort, we are looking forward to relaunching our workshop series, moving online and with an updated schedule of events to be posted soon. We hope members and other stakeholders will join us for those in the months ahead. National Preparedness Month (NPM), however, is really focused on a foundational part of community preparedness and resilience – the individual and the family.
The theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” FEMA and the Ad Council began National Preparedness Month with new public service announcements informing Americans how they and their families can best prepare for disasters while accounting for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.As stated in a FEMA Advisory, “The theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month is ‘Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.’ It encourages people from all communities to prepare for the possibility of natural disasters, which could range from wildfires to hurricanes and tornadoes. ‘This year, we’ve seen that preparedness actions save lives,’ said FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor. ‘Hurricanes and wildfires aren’t waiting for COVID-19 to end, and neither should your preparedness activities. I encourage you to make the most of this time you have with your families and have those discussions about your emergency plans, specifically how they may look different this year in a COVID-19 environment.’”
Each week of National Preparedness Month, the Ready Campaign will emphasize a unique aspect of preparedness. A detailed breakdown as well as actions individuals and organizations can consider related to these themes can be found in the 26 August 2020, FB-ISAO Weekly Report.
- September 1—5: Make a Plan
- September 6—12: Build a Kit
- September 13—19: Prepare for Disasters
- September 20—26: Teach Youth about Preparedness
- Ready.gov: National Preparedness Month
We encourage you to take some time, review the links and themes, commit to take action this National Preparedness Month!
As we focus on NPM, we have to also note, there is a lot more going on this month!
As CISA recently stated, “September is National Insider Threat Awareness Month (NITAM), which is a collaborative effort between the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), National Insider Threat Task Force (NITTF), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Intelligence and Security (USD(I&S)), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) to emphasize the importance of detecting, deterring, and reporting insider threats. NITAM 2020 will focus on ‘Resilience’ by promoting personal and organizational resilience to mitigate risks posed by insider threats. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages organizations to read NCSC’s NITAM 2020 endorsement and explore the following resources to learn how to protect against insider threats.”
- Insider Threat Mitigation
- CISA Webinar: A Holistic Approach to Mitigating Insider Threats
- NITTF Resource Library
- Center for Development of Security Excellence: Insider Threat Awareness and Training
But wait! 25 September is also “if you see something, say something” National Awareness Day! Check out the link for a more information, a Public Service Announcement (video), and additional resources.
- See the FB-ISAO resources pages for a collection of useful links to include a variety of security preparedness resources, including:
- Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs (OPEN); Preparedness Training for Community-Based Organizations
- Ready.gov website
- Our sponsor, Gate 15, recently shared some perspective on NPM, protests, and more in a new podcast: The Risk Roundtable: EP 11 – Protests & Security Awareness Months (Preparedness! Insider Threats!! Cybersecurity!!!)
- Resource: What’s Your Plan?, by our friend and colleague James DeMeo (and on Twitter)