Are you

Ready Iowa?

Emergencies are a part of life. Fire, police, and emergency medical services may be delayed in an emergency or unable to respond. Whether it is tornadoes, flooding, winter storms, or an act of terrorism, emergencies can occur quickly and without warning. Although we cannot prevent emergencies, we can prepare for them.


Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, an opportunity for all Iowans to better prepare themselves for emergencies and disasters.

National Preparedness Month was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies. Iowa’s Preparedness Month is sponsored each year by the Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA) and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD).

During Preparedness Month, Iowans are urged to take simple steps to ensure they, their families, and their places of business are prepared. Those steps are making an emergency plan, building an emergency kit, and being aware of hazards in their area.

Daily tips and information can be found on Facebook at and Twitter at

National Preparedness Month 2023

About us

What We Do

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) has been working to make Iowa more prepared for disasters since it began as the State Civil Defense Agency in 1965. The focus of emergency management and the hazards faced by Iowans may have changed in some ways since that time, but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to making our state more prepared for any emergency or disaster.  

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the department, then a division under the Iowa Department of Public Defense, was directed by the governor to coordinate Iowa’s homeland security efforts. While this broadened our mission, our underlying priority of ensuring Iowa is prepared and ready to respond to any disaster drives all we do.

While the likelihood of a terrorist act being committed in Iowa is unknown, we will continue to be affected by floods, tornadoes, snow storms, plane crashes, and other natural and human-caused disasters. HSEMD approaches these and other emergency situations with an emphasis on maximizing resources by using and expanding upon current capacities and building core capabilities that ensure we are prepared for all hazards.

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Disaster & EMERGENCY Preparedness

Be Ready in 3 Steps



Make a Plan

Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is key. Make sure everyone in your family knows the drill.



Build a Kit

Your emergency supply kit should have everything you need to sustain you and your family for 3-5 days. Use a checklist to create your own kit.



Be Aware

Learn about the hazards that can affect your community and learn how to get information about current weather and road conditions. 

READY IOWA has social media resources that you can share to promote preparedness in your home and community.