Wednesday, September 5, 2007

New Emergency Preparedness Initiative Announced

CONTACT:
Bob Spieldenner, VDEM (804) 897-6510

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Sept. 5, 2007

New Emergency Preparedness Initiative Announced
'Ready Virginia,' Local Events Mark National Preparedness Month

Richmond, Va. - Virginia is marking National Preparedness Month in September with the launch of Ready Virginia, a coordinated effort to provide vital preparedness information to the people of the Commonwealth.

This new, collaborative effort will unite state government agencies with private sector and local government partners in a statewide public education effort to prepare Virginians for all hazards, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Ready Virginia encourages citizens to prepare for emergencies by taking three easy steps: get an emergency supply kit, make an emergency plan and stay informed about the hazards that could impact Virginia.

A new Web site, www.ReadyVirginia.gov, features specific steps families and businesses can take to prepare themselves for disasters and emergencies. The Ready Virginia Web site is a central, authoritative resource for preparedness information for all Virginians, including a list of materials for a kit, steps to making a plan, and sources of information to stay informed.

"Ready Virginia is an important step in developing a culture of preparedness to ensure the safety and security of Virginians," said Michael M. Cline, state coordinator for VDEM. "The Web site shows simple, low-cost steps people can take in order to be better prepared for emergencies."

Ready Virginia aims to use a variety of messages to inform citizens on the basic steps needed to better prepare their homes, families, and businesses.

Part of the effort will seek to educate people about preparedness through the use of public service announcements (PSAs), which are now available for download from the Ready Virginia Web site in the Press Room area. Each PSA addresses an aspect of family preparedness, such as deciding on a meeting place or collecting emergency supplies. The PSAs are available in video, audio and script formats.

Ready Virginia is being launched in coordination with National Preparedness Month. During the month of September, 625 national and regional organizations will distribute emergency preparedness information, host events and sponsor activities in all 50 states and six territories. Local groups in Virginia will join the nation in promoting emergency preparedness through various events.

A list of National Preparedness Month events in Virginia and across the nation is available on the national Citizen Corps Web site, www.citizencorps.gov.

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