#30days30waysUK: September is “Preparedness Month”
Activities are taking place across the UK under the banner of #30days30waysUK to raise awareness of September as Preparedness Month. This initiative started life the US in 2010 when a Regional Emergency Services Agency in Vancouver, Washington created a disaster preparedness game called “30 Days, 30 Ways” during National Preparedness Month. The game has grown and now a website 30days30ways highlights the importance of preparedness and posts a different task or challenge for building individual and collective resilience on each of the 30 days of September.
In 2015, the Northamptonshire Emergency Planning Team was inspired to adapt the “30 Days, 30 Ways” concept for social media using the hashtag #30days30waysUK – and by 2017 it had successfully grown its digital presence with multiple platforms for engaging people in preparedness, including facebook, twitter and a website.
Today, #30days30waysUK activity is co-ordinated by the network of Local Resilience Forums and a wide network of partners. The purpose of #30days30waysUK is to inspire and empower people to build personal and community resilience to external risks, using gamification and positive messaging to communicate more widely on risk and emergency, helping to build evidence-based and educational approaches to risk reduction.
A key message underpinning this initiative is that preparedness and resilience are proactive and can help people to better cope and recover during a crisis or emergency. The game is designed to demonstrate how people can build preparedness little-by-little every day, using small tasks and challenges to illustrate this.
The topics for messaging and daily tasks are informed by the National Risk Register and local community risk registers. By day 5 of #30days30waysUK, the topics covered included awareness of local risks, recognising trusted information sources and networks, accessing mental health resources, understanding extreme weather risks, and how to sign-up for flooding warnings. Posts on Facebook included useful facts, advice and signposts for resources and further information.
The messaging and tasks are shared widely between partners and stakeholders through social media. Outside the month of September, the website acts as a hub for sharing information and advice and resources for stakeholders, including schools and families.
For more information on how you can get more involved, visit the website here.