ADM Tedesco: Hello. I’m Rear Admiral Mark Tedesco, the Coast Guard’s Surgeon General and Director of Health, Safety, and Work-Life. In honor of National Preparedness Month this September, my wife Patty and I are joining forces to urge all Coast Guard families to take part in the Ready Coast Guard campaign and plan for natural disasters, disease outbreaks, terrorism, and other emergencies. Ready Coast Guard follows the same three simple steps of the Ready America campaign and encourages everyone to: Get an emergency supply kit. Make a family emergency plan. And be informed. Mrs. Tedesco: As you know, when emergencies happen, the Coast Guard is often involved in the response. Coast Guard members take great pride in living the motto semper paratus by being “always ready” to fulfill the missions in national defense and maritime safety, security, and mobility. We can support our Coast Guardsmen by making sure our families have a plan for how we will cope with natural disasters, disease outbreaks, terrorism, and other emergencies, while they focus on those who need them most in an emergency situation. It gives your Coast Guardsmen peace of mind to know that, even if they’re away on duty, the family knows what to do if an emergency strikes. RADM Tedesco: Using the Family Emergency Plan form and tips accessible from the Office of Work-Life Family Readiness Program website as a guide, your family can make a plan for what you will do when emergency strikes. Think about the potential hazards or weather patterns in your area. Could there be a hurricane, earthquake, wildfire, or volcanic eruption? Has there been an increase in flu or other various disease outbreaks? Talk through the actions you should take and how your family will respond to different situations. Mrs. Tedesco: Also, think through all the places you and your family could be, such as at work, at school, and in transit. What types of meeting places or emergency contact numbers might you need in case everyone is apart when an emergency hits? Fill out the form and make sure every family member carries the emergency contact card that comes with the form. RADM Tedesco: It’s also important to practice once or twice a year. That way, if anything ever happens, you won’t be losing valuable time as you decide what to do. Take part in the Ready America and Ready Coast Guard campaigns and “Plan now, work together, and be ready.” Thank you for everything you do for the Coast Guard and our nation. Semper Paratus.