The Texas Department of State Health Services along with state and local officials today launched this year’s Ready or Not? multilingual public education campaign to encourage Texans to prepare for emergencies.
“Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado or flood, a disaster can strike when we least expect it, and we want people to be prepared,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. “We’re one month into hurricane season, but it’s not too late to put together a plan.”
Ready or Not? or ¿Estás Listo? in Spanish uses radio, television, newspaper and online advertising; community outreach events; and its websites to encourage every Texan to create an emergency plan now. The goal is to help Texans be ready to respond to, and recover from, any natural or man made disaster.
This year’s launch took place at the Island Community Center in Galveston with local officials presenting information about how to prepare. The Galveston event also marked the kickoff of the 15-city Ready of Not? community outreach tour.
The yearlong Ready or Not? campaign focuses on three key elements: family, essentials and information.
Family – Talk with everyone in your family about your emergency plan. Know where your family will meet if you have to evacuate. Include elderly neighbors and people with disabilities who may depend on you for help. Have a list of emergency contacts. And remember your pets.
Essentials. Make a shopping list of essential items you need. Store those emergency supplies in one place. Put copies of all essential documents – driver’s license or passport, insurance policies, health cards and prescriptions – in a waterproof bag.
Information – Know how to get information in an emergency. Have a battery-operated radio on hand with plenty of fresh batteries.
Ready or Not? partners include local emergency management officials, community based organizations with emergency preparedness and response/recovery roles, and other grassroots organizations.
The website at www.TexasPrepares.org or www.TexasPrepara.org offers people a way to build a custom plan step by step. Those without Internet access may dial 2-1-1 for help finding local sites that offer free Internet access.
The Ready or Not? community outreach tour will hold 18 events in 15 cities this summer beginning today in Galveston. Additional stops are planned throughout the month of July in Pasadena, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Lufkin, League City, Tyler, Houston, Bay City, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Brownsville, McAllen and San Antonio. Each free event will feature a 20-foot by 20-foot tent filled with informational displays, sample disaster supply kits and an interactive kiosk where visitors can begin or continue their emergency planning.
The Ready or Not? campaign will run through August 2011.