National PrepareAthon! Day on April 30, 2016
Three students work at a table with cups of sand and oil.
Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) is a systematic method for surveying an affected shoreline after an oil spill. Here students work on an exercise during a recent NOAA-led course. (NOAA)

APRIL 29, 2016 -- The White House has designated Saturday, April 30, 2016, as National PrepareAthon! Day.

This campaign asks federal agencies to work with their stakeholders to "coordinate a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness, including public outreach and community-based and private-sector programs to enhance national resilience..."

By encouraging organizations and communities to participate, the goal is to increase the number of individuals who:


  • Understand which disasters could happen in their community.
  • Know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage.
  • Take action to increase their preparedness.
  • Participate in community resilience planning.

Here at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), we know the value of continually improving our capacity to respond to disasters. Whether it is about responding to oil and chemical spills, restoring the environment following a disaster, training emergency responders, developing response tools or making sure that we are communicating effectively during an emergency, our efforts are focused on having the skills and tools to respond quickly and effectively.

Please read: Resilience Starts with Being Ready: Better Preparing Our Coasts to Cope with Environmental Disasters to learn more about how we prepare for disasters such as oil and chemical spills in the marine environment.

We encourage you to visit the National PrepareAthon! website to increase your own preparedness for your local hazards.

Infographic showing cityscape, beach, and water with corresponding pollution response tools for each area.
Some of the tools NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration has developed for use in responding to oil and chemical spills. (NOAA) Click to enlarge.