Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 5

READY FOR YOUR CLOSE-UP? NEW VIDEO TOOL FOR COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS

Ready for your close-up
Several of the screening venues are local historic theaters, like the Philanthropy Theater in El Paso. Photo courtesy of EnviroMedia Social Marketing.

Whether it’s a wildfire, hurricane, tornado or industrial disaster, the first line of defense is the prepared individual. That’s the message for viewers in Surviving Disaster: How Texans Prepare. This new series of documentary-style videos about Texas disasters and planning emergencies was produced by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Division of Emergency Management with the goal of providing Emergency Managers and others with an additional tool to promote public preparedness.

Watch the videos.

Officials with TDEM and DSHS are hoping the statewide network of disaster preparedness personnel will use these videos for outreach in their own communities. These videos can be shown at places such as PTA meetings, senior activity centers, service club meetings, faith-based centers and other community-organization meetings.

“We believe our local officials and Emergency Management Coordinators will find these videos helpful in building public awareness in their communities,” said Chief W. Nim Kidd of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. “Please feel free to use these as part of your hurricane preparedness toolkit – whether you live on the coast or in inland communities.”

Bruce Clements, director of community preparedness with the Texas Department of State Health Services, said: “Communities who take the time to do better preparation will bounce back more quickly after the disaster is over.”

The videos highlight the fact that many Texans don’t prepare for disasters because they think one would never happen to them. They tell true stories of people like Delia and Daniel in Del Rio, who barely evacuated in time when Hurricane Charley flooded their house and street. A man named Gary in Montague County lost all of his important documents and belongings in a wildfire. All of the videos put a human face on disasters with survivors telling their personal stories of what they did, what they could have done and what they will do to prepare for the next emergency.

Videos can be viewed and DVDs can be ordered at TexasPrepares.org starting May 11. Anyone interested in promoting preparedness in their communities is encouraged to order the DVD or download the videos to hold their own screenings with friends, family and community members. The series features 12 closed-captioned videos (six in English and six in Spanish) that cover a variety of preparedness issues.

The DVD package includes a booklet providing instructions for setting up the screening, as well as a discussion guide to help screeners lead thought-provoking discussion with viewers. The DVD also contains electronic files for a promotional poster, emergency checklist and wallet card that can be distributed to viewers to help them start making or improving their emergency preparedness plans.

The videos are part of DSHS’s larger statewide Ready or Not? emergency preparedness campaign. This public education campaign, originally launched in 2007, aims to promote preparedness in every community in Texas. Ready or Not? focuses on family, essentials and information, and instructs Texans on ways to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters by taking simple steps before it’s too late. Two key examples are making evacuation plans and having readily available grab-and-go kits. Texans can also learn more about the Ready or Not? campaign at www.TexasPrepares.org or www.TexasPrepara.org.

Texas Department of State Health Services Communications Office

Front Page Photo: After a screening of Surviving Disaster: How Texans Prepare, a viewer signs a pledge promising to share the video with their community. Photo courtesy of EnviroMedia Social Marketing.

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