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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2017 Vol. 64 No. 9

Harris County Receives Award of Excellence for ReadyHarris App

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) recently received an Award of Excellence for its ReadyHarris app from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) at its annual conference.

HCOHSEM developed the ReadyHarris app to improve communications, emergency preparedness and resiliency for Harris County residents. Today, more than ever, people depend on their smartphones and mobile devices to communicate, get the latest news, navigate the internet and share information via social media.

"We are honored to be recognized by communication professionals from around the state for our mobile app," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "The ReadyHarris app helps our residents better prepare and stay informed during emergencies."

Harris County is the third most populous county in the United States with more than 4.7 million residents, 34 cities, 57 fire departments, 125 law enforcement agencies, 22 major watersheds, and more than 1,200 municipal and public utility districts. It is home to the nation's largest petrochemical center and its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico make it vulnerable to tropical storms, but not exempt from other weather threats and man-made disasters.

The ReadyHarris app delivers real-time news and weather alerts, hosts a step-by-step guide to building a personalized family disaster plan, offers survival tip sheets, evacuation routes and locates emergency services. The app also has a "Share My Status" feature to help people keep in touch with others during and after a disaster. Its preparedness tips cover hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, winter storms, thunderstorms, functional needs, pet preparedness and more.

"Every minute counts when severe weather, or any emergency, threatens our community," said Emmett. "The ReadyHarris app empowers residents to make a personal plan and receive life-saving information at their fingertips."

Since its release, the ReadyHarris app has been successfully promoted mainly through social media. In just a few months, the ReadyHarris app has been downloaded more than 12,300 times. This free app is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play in both English and Spanish.

The TAMIO awards recognize outstanding communication products in various categories including website, social media, video production and publications. Judging is conducted by non-TAMIO members with expertise in communications and local government.

The awards program, founded in 2001, serves as a professional high point for municipal communications work in Texas. Every year, new cities join the ranks of winners, showcasing their work for colleagues across Texas. In addition to peer recognition, members can learn more about best practices and

Rosio Torres
Media Specialist
Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
(713) 426-9542
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