#30days30waysUK – September is Preparedness Month: a short History and Vision
Originally, the ‘preparedness games’ concept was developed by the Clark Regional Emergency Services in Vancouver, Washington. In the USA it has been running since 2010 as 30days30ways during ‘National Preparedness Month’.
In the UK, the Northamptonshire Emergency Planning Team adapted the preparedness games concept for social media and it took off as hashtag #30days30waysUK in 2015. Uptake was so successful that in 2017 it gained its own twitter and facebook handle @30days30waysUK and this website. Today the #30days30waysUK network has hundreds of partners reaching wide audiences.
September is Preparedness Month #30days30waysUK is coordinated at Local Resilience Forum (LRF) level. Countless dedicated professional volunteers generously give their time and expertise. Some give a small donation to pay for this website. All make excellent use of open source content and free social media. 30days30waysUK.org.uk has no budget and does not advertise. All growth is organic and networked.
30days30waysUK is a member of GNDR, the largest Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Risk Reduction. We are not a registered charity precisely so that our social media emergency risk communication approach via preparedness games is freely transferable to other regions worldwide with minimal hurdles.
The 30days30waysUK vision is to
- inspire and empower people of all walks of life to build household and community preparedness and resilience in a world increasingly impacted by climate change and a wide range of risks
- serve as an open source, evidence-based, transferable and adaptable emergency risk communication and education approach for disaster risk reduction using positive psychology and gamification
- run and evaluate #30days30waysUK every year on social media with a wide range of stakeholders, advocating ‘be prepared not scared’
If you are an organisation or institution, find out more on the partners page and via our slides:
- UK introduction (google slides via bit.ly/intro30days30waysUK2019
- international vision (google slides via bit.ly/2019international30days30waysUK)
Why September? Why 30 days?
It is the perfect time to raise awareness! In the UK
- summer days are drawing to a close
- people begin turning their minds to the coming autumn and winter which may bring severe weather
- start of the new academic year
Preparedness is proactive. Preparedness means “bouncing forward” like our signature resilience ball so that in a crisis people are ahead, informed and equipped. Our aspiration, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is that people, their communities, networks and institutions may be better able to cope and ‘build back better’ their environments as well as their well-being (WHO, UNDRR). Preparedness concerns everyone, at all levels.
Preparedness and resilience are best built little by little as part of everyday life. That is why we run the preparedness games LIVE over a full 30 days every September addressing diverse topics, sharing advice and resources. The rest of the year this website acts as a hub. Explore the sections and links on this site. Join us on social media in September.
What exactly is #30days30waysUK?
‘September is Preparedness Month’ is an evidence-based, structured social media emergency risk communication, education and engagement approach. The aim is to inspire and empower actions towards individual and community emergency preparedness and resilience.
Over 30 days every September, all-hazard themed messages and resources are shared by a wide range of partners over social media, e.g. twitter, facebook, instagram and youtube based on the national (NRR) and local community risk registers (via LRFs). Content is integrated from existing public awareness campaigns e.g. safety and security ‘run – hide – tell’, NHS ‘choose well’ and ‘hand washing’ as well as mental health and well-being resources. Additional themes such as ‘what emergency?’, ‘home preparedness’ and ‘pet preparedness’ etc. are created and shared in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders and partners.
Online and Offline Prepared and Resilient Communities
Our approach is positive psychology based. It is lighthearted, using humour to engage, inform, inspire and empower. Gamification through the 30days30waysUK bingo further engages in a fun way, enabling keeping track over 30 days and a sense of win and achievement as each theme is crossed of (see how to join). It also acts as a ‘bridge’, connecting online content to individuals and their communities on the ground in ‘the real world’. Campaign monitoring and evaluation is via open source social media analytics and surveys. Reports are published annually (see below).
On this website, our particular focus is to provide resources for young people, our future generation of resilient adults. Our section for kids and schools (under construction) provides links to quality resources for families and teachers.
Resources for the public good
All our materials are published under the creative commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 . This means you are free to share and adapt, for non-commercial purposes as long as you give appropriate credit and indicate if changes were made. There is no need to contact us for permission. However, if you run campaigns based on our approach we would love to hear, so please get in touch @30days30waysUK, our DMs are open.
Access campaign materials via our shared google drive
- templates: social media, email, banners etc.
- icons: game icons, logo, artwork etc.
- flyers and other print materials
Emergencies happen – disasters don’t have to!
Over 250 years ago Rousseau in his letter to Voltaire described the earthquake devastated Lisbon in 1755 noting ‘that nature did not construct twenty thousand houses of six to seven stories’.
A hazard cannot be prevented, disasters can be. Earthquakes, droughts, floods, storms, landslides and volcanic eruptions are natural hazards; they lead to deaths and damages – i.e. disasters – because of human acts of omission and commission rather than the act of nature. A disaster does not happen unless people and cities are vulnerable and these vulnerabilities are further enhanced by deforestation, rapid urbanisation, environmental degradation, and climate change.
Labelling disasters as “natural” enables those who create disaster risks by accepting poor urban planning, increasing socioeconomic inequalities, non-existent or poorly regulated policies, and lack of proactive adaptation and mitigation to avoid detection. It is thus important to promote and encourage the use of terminology that actually helps us to reduce risk. For more see Why natural disasters are not all that natural. Image used with permission @NoNatDisasters.