September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness MonthSeptember 1, 2017—September is National Preparedness Month, an initiative sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of the national Ready campaign. The 2017 theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

Your organization can plan ahead for disasters that might include victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Whether you are a school welcoming back your students and faculty, a facility or office making your work environment safer, or a company ensuring its mobile workforce is prepared, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) should be an integral part of your emergency readiness plan. Timely use of an AED for victims of SCA could mean the difference between life and death. For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7–10%.1

Here are some tips to ensure you are prepared:

  • Make an emergency communication plan and practice it.
  • Keep an emergency kit available, visible, and accessible to others.
  • Install an AED and implement an AED program. Become familiar with the device, educate others at your site, and communicate where it’s located.
  • Take a first aid class and learn CPR so you can help until first responders arrive. Performing CPR at the proper depth and rate could help save a life. Keep this free CPR Tips card handy.
  • Download the FEMA app and set up local alerts.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends using a 3-minute response time as a guideline to help determine how many AEDs should be installed in a facility and where to place them. The AHA also recommends installing AEDs near elevators, cafeterias and break rooms, main receptions areas, or walls in main corridor areas.For additional information on how to be prepared, please visit https://www.ready.gov/september.

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1Caswell, Jon. “Shocking Results: AEDs Change Outcomes.” Heart Insight. 2015. heartinsight.heart.org/Winter-2015/Shocking-Results-AEDs-Change-Outcomes/. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017.
2American Heart Association. “Implementing an AED Program.” 2012. cpr.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@ecc/documents/downloadable/ucm_480036.pdf. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017.