September is National Preparedness Month

On September 5, 2023
In Blog

On August 29, 2021, Ida made landfall on the coast of Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane and, despite weakening as it moved north, left a large and catastrophic path of destruction in its wake. At home, the remnants of Hurricane Ida reached Pennsylvania in the early days of September, overflowing the Schuylkill River and bringing devastating flooding and deadly tornadoes to our area.

In the Coatesville community alone, 40 families were displaced and countless others were impacted by rising flood water. At the time, The Alliance reported that, “Emergency crews worked tirelessly throughout the night in an effort to rescue people from cars and homes. Others were forced to evacuate, seeking refuge at emergency shelters set up in our local schools.” In response, The Red Umbrella Response Fund was created, not only to offer disaster relief and funds to assist the short-term and long-term needs of Coatesville residents after Hurricane Ida, but also to serve as a fundraising platform for future natural disasters.

Future Predictions

While tropical storms and hurricanes have long plagued the southeastern United States, a November 22, 2021 article by The American Geophysical Union published at predicted that, “By the late 21st century, northeastern U.S. cities will see worsening hurricane outcomes, with storms arriving more quickly but slowing down once they’ve made landfall. As storms linger longer over the East Coast, they will cause greater damage along the heavily populated corridor.” This was the case with Hurricane Ida.

Additionally, in a June 1, 2022 report titled, “A Force of Nature: Hurricanes in a Changing Climate,” NASA noted that, “Flooding remains one of the biggest concerns when a hurricane comes ashore, and climate change will likely make that worse.” NASA also stated that, “The best thing you can do is to be prepared.”

September is National Preparedness Month

Started by FEMA in 2004, National Preparedness Month is observed each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for sudden disasters before they strike. According to, this year’s theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3” and will focus on older adults from communities that are disproportionately impacted by extreme weather events and other emergencies. states that, “We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas.”

This hurricane season, visit for helpful advice on how to prepare, including knowing your risk, making an emergency plan, gathering supplies, recognizing warnings and alerts, helping your neighbors, and protecting yourself from high winds and flooding, and for more information on National Preparedness Month, click here.

The Alliance for Health Equity (formerly Brandywine Health Foundation) is a philanthropic organization striving to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy community for all residents of the Greater Coatesville area. We pursue our mission by providing grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students that address health and economic disparities and social justice. We also build partnership programs and give voice to those often left out of community solution building to improve the overall health of their communities. 100% of contributions go directly to those in need.