CONCORD, N.H. – State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) urges families, communities, schools and workplaces to participate in April’s PrepareAthon by being informed about disasters likely to occur in New Hampshire, making an emergency plan, building an emergency kit and getting involved with community preparedness.


“Taking simple and inexpensive steps now, before a disaster strikes, can save the lives of those closest to each of us,” HSEM Director Perry Plummer said. “For this PrepareAthon, we’re asking everyone to do one thing each week to increase preparedness.”


The PrepareAthon is a community-based campaign encouraging groups to plan and execute simple, specific activities that increase preparedness, Plummer said.


Each week during the April PrepareAthon, HSEM will ask residents and visitors to perform simple preparedness tasks and then post pictures of the results to HSEM’s Facebook or Twitter accounts, or via U.S. mail, Plummer said. HSEM will randomly select participants to receive an item they can add to their emergency kit, he said.


Residents and visitors should start their preparations by staying informed through NH Alerts, the State’s free alert system, Plummer said. Residents and visitors can download the NH Alerts app or sign-up for the landline service at ReadyNH.gov.


The goal of HSEM is to have each person in the State prepared to support themselves, if necessary, during the first 72 hours following a disaster when first responders may be stretched to their limits, Plummer said.


Each community in the State is encouraged to hold a local PrepareAthon as well. Local PrepareAthon activities are a great means of encouraging families and individuals to build emergency kits and to stock emergency supplies like food and water, Plummer said.  A variety of planning materials including detailed step-by-step instructions of what to do before, during and after a disaster can be found at ReadyNH.gov.