States and locales urge residents to prepare
| 05.31.2006 | 07:23:55 | Views: 2652 | ID:
May 31 '06: The New York Times reported Wednesday that emergency and preparedness officials along the Gulf Coast are using a combination of nervy public service announcements along with worst-case-scenarios to spur residents into action to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Much of the emphasis of the public service announcements and the message being sent by state and local officials is a greater importance placed on personal resilience and preparedness. "This save-yourselves approach comes after government agencies were overwhelmed by pleas for help after last year's storms," the Times reported.
Some examples include Mississippi's "Stay Alert. Stay Alive" program wherein state officials urged residents along the Gulf Coast to prepare "go-kits" which included emergency batteries, flash lights, nonelectric can opener as well as a stockpile of at least three days' worth of food and water to help during the first 72 hours, the Times continued. Other examples include playbacks of real phone calls to 911 during Hurricane Ivan during which the voices of people can be heard asking for help.In addition to residents' emergency preparedness, the Beaumont Enterprise reported last week that state and local officials are looking to the private sector to learn more about supply management and distribution. Representatives from Wal-Mart and H-E-B met with Texas officials and "shared their plans with attendees at the Texas Hurricane Conference ... input that some of the state and federal officials found impressive." Jason Jackson, the emergency management director for Wal-Mart told the Enterprise, "There's been a dynamic shift in the realization of the role of the private section. ... Federal and state governments are now asking, 'How can we harness the private sector and use them as partners?'" Additional help from the private sector may be what the federal, state and local governments need. The Times reported that a recent poll of those living along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts prepared by the Dixon Polling and Reseach Inc., "found that 1,100 adults ... 83 percent had taken no steps to fortify their homes this year. 68 percent had no hurricane survival kits and 60 percent had no family disaster plan."
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