National Preparedness Month’s 2023 Campaign and How Health Centers Can Plan Ahead

By | Published On: September 5, 2023

September is National Preparedness Month

In a world that is constantly evolving and where the frequency and intensity of emergencies is increasing, it’s crucial to be prepared for the unexpected. National Preparedness Month, established by the Department of Homeland Security to encourage all Americans to take concrete steps in preparing for emergencies, and observed each September, serves as a reminder to take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live and work.

Given that health centers must comply with the CMS Emergency Preparedness (EP) Rule, National Preparedness Month is an excellent time for organizations to review their emergency management programs for compliance with regulatory requirements and expectations. Moreover, introducing National Preparedness Month-themed activities and encouraging staff and patients to participate may help build a corporate culture of resilience while making emergency preparedness fun for everybody involved.

This Year’s Theme

The 2023 National Preparedness Month campaign theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3.” The focus is on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionally impacted by the all-hazard events, which continue to threaten the nation. For additional information and resources, visit

Health centers (and other organizations) can follow this year’s theme by “taking control” and implementing the following preparedness steps:

1. Patients

  • Learn: Launch an awareness campaign about the health center’s preparedness plans and what patients can expect from the organization during emergencies / disasters
  • Participate: Encourage patients to create their own Emergency Plan and Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
  • Stay Engaged: Post relevant information and display preparedness videos in the waiting areas to further promote the message

2. Staff

  • Be Informed: Encourage staff to stay informed and sign up for appropriate alert systems
  • Increase Knowledge: Promote participation in organizational educational activities and provide them with free resources and giveaways
  • Stay Prepared: Help your staff learn the basics of personal and pet preparedness

3. Organization

  • Review: Review, update and properly document all relevant emergency management plans, policies, procedures and risk assessments /hazard vulnerability analyses (see 42 CFR 491.12)
  • Collaborate: Reach out to local, state and federal government agencies, the state primary care association, non-profit organizations, businesses, and other partners to foster partnerships and create a comprehensive approach to preparedness.
  • Conduct Training and Drills: Conduct relevant emergency preparedness training and exercises to ensure your staff and patients are familiar with emergency protocols and plans. Identify and document lessons learned for continued quality improvement.

If you have any questions or need additional support in the area of emergency management or business continuity, please contact Compliance and Risk Management Services Manager, Alexander Lipovtsev, at or 202.466.8960.