This September marks the eighth annual National Preparedness Month. NPM was started by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready Campaign, in partnership with the Citizen Corps and the Ad Council, to encourage all Americans to take the necessary steps to ensure their homes, workplaces, and communities are prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.
This year's theme, "A Time to Remember: A Time to Prepare", hits particularly close to home. We all remember just how devastating the Floods of 2008 were and how the Iowa National Guard and volunteers across Iowa came together to fight the rising waters; help those who lost their homes, businesses, and treasured belongings; and get our communities on track to recover even stronger than before the floods hit.
Even now, too many communities affected by the floods in 2008 and after are still working to recover while our fellow Iowans along the Missouri River are coping with this summer's flooding. That is why the National Preparedness Month campaign is so critical. By working to ensure that our families and communities are better prepared for disasters and emergencies, we can help increase the speed and effectiveness of our response and recovery.
Individuals and groups can register to become National Preparedness Month coalition members by visiting http://community.fema.gov. Once registered, members can find suggestions for activities and events, as well as other materials to spread the word about the importance of preparedness and promote simple steps people can take to prepare for all kinds of disasters and emergencies.
National Preparedness Month is hosted each year as part of FEMA's Ready Campaign. The Ready Campaign is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies at home, in the workplace and throughout our communities. For more information and to find important resources and tips on preparedness, I encourage you to visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov.
I am also taking steps in Congress to improve the ways that we predict, prepare, and respond to flooding. I recently introduced the National Flood Research and Education Act which will create a National Flood Center and enlist the expertise of the best research minds in the country in coordination with key federal agencies to comprehensively study and develop new policies to deal with flooding and related issues.
In the wake of the worst natural disaster in our state's history, Iowans came together and displayed our strong spirit and resilience. Going forward, it is equally important that we work together to plan and prepare for emergencies of all kinds in order to keep our families and our communities safe.