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Emergency Preparedness Fair Coming to Texas


Emergency Preparedness Banner | Image by City of Austin

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A new emergency preparedness fair hosted by the City of Austin’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is coming to Central Texas later this month.

The pilot program for the “Get Ready Central Texas Emergency Preparedness Fair” was created with families and individuals in mind. It will be held on September 20 in Austin, according to a City of Austin press release. Those who participate in the event will learn how to prepare in the case of disaster or emergency.

The fair is designed so attendees will leave with their own emergency plan after learning about Austin’s city emergency plan, the Basic Emergency Operations Plan.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Juan Ortiz shared in the press release that if an emergency or disaster does occur, it is vital for the community to work together.

“The Basic Emergency Operations Plan is the community’s plan. When a disaster strikes, we are all responsible for helping each other. Individuals, organizations, and government have a part to play in the safety of our community,” Ortiz said.

He added, “We want to give everyone the information and basic resources to be prepared during an emergency and feel confident that they will be able to safely make it through the event.”

Entities participating in the preparedness fair include the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Austin Disaster Relief Network, the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross, the University of Texas, Austin 3-1-1, Austin Public Health, and Austin Energy.

“Many City departments and organizations are joining together to provide an accessible and educational event for everyone who participates,” the press release stated. “Attendees will learn life-saving tips and information about available resources during and after an emergency.”

The City of Austin website shares that having an emergency plan in place is critical to staying safe and recovering from a disaster.

The four steps to being properly prepared include making a plan, building a kit, knowing your neighbors, and staying informed. Get Ready Central Texas recommends having a kit with enough supplies to allow you to be self-sufficient for seven days. It is also essential to discuss any emergency plan with the entire family.

Some of the basic supplies recommended for emergency kits are first aid items, food, water, blankets, cash, flashlights, and extra batteries. Remembering anything your pet might need during an emergency is also important.

“Discuss with your family how you will respond, stay informed, and contact one another during emergency situations in which key services like electricity, water, or first responders may not be available,” Get Ready Central Texas advised.

Furthermore, the organization said, “Once your initial plan has been created, make it a point to discuss it at least once a year and make updates as needed.”

Get Ready Central Texas also recommends that people learn basic first aid skills and become CPR certified.

The Get Ready Central Texas Emergency Preparedness Fair will take place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 20. It is free to attend and will be held inside the Asian American Resource Center in Austin.

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