Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2014 Vol. 61 No. 9

Message From The Chief

If you’ve been in Texas very long, you’re probable familiar with the adage, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute.” But the opposite of this is true:  If you don’t believe Texas weather can rapidly become severe … It’s easy to become complacent or believe you, your family and your community are safe from severe weather. And it’s very easy to be unprepared if severe weather or other natural or manmade disasters should strike where you live.

“Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare”

September is National Preparedness Month. Our nation has set aside this month to remember the challenges we have overcome and to reinforce the need for all of us to be prepared for disasters and emergencies.

Being prepared is a shared responsibility; it takes the entire community. As individuals, businesses and as civic and community organizations, I encourage Texans to commit to doing at least one of the following simple tasks:

  • Learn about emergencies or hazards in your community and the proper response.
  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a communications plan.
  • Get involved in preparedness in your community.

You, your family, your neighbors, your workplace, your children’s schools, and the place you attend worship should all have a plan, and kit, and a way to stay informed. There are many ways to get involved in your community’s preparedness efforts.  It is often said that the disaster-after-the-disaster is the spontaneous volunteer and donations management.  You can eliminate the second wave disaster(s) by being part of the solution before the event occurs.  But in order to do this, you must be part of a recognized team or group.  I encourage all Texans to consider joining one of the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).

When one area of Texas is struck by disaster, thousands of Texas volunteers from other areas stand ready to reach out and help. They are members of community organizations and faith-based groups who have trained ahead of time so that they can be effective. Texas volunteers make all the difference in helping our communities recover.

Remember, preparedness is not a destination, it is a journey, and we are all on it together. #TEXASPREP

Additional links:
Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
American Red Cross: Getting Trained
Community Emergency Response Teams
Texas Division of Emergency Management: Volunteer in Texas
America's PrepareAthon!

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®

Follow me @chiefkidd on Twitter, and you can also follow
Texas Division of Emergency Management on Twitter @TDEM

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