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September is Emergency Preparedness Month: County Celebrates with 2nd Annual Preparedness Fair Sept. 14

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX  – The Hays County Office of Emergency Services and numerous public safety-minded partners are inviting residents to learn more about all aspects of personal safety during September, which has been proclaimed by the Hays County Commissioners Court as Emergency Preparedness Month. Multiple agencies will participate in the Second Annual Hays County Emergency Preparedness Fair on Saturday, September 14, at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center. The kid-friendly event is free to the public.

“From weather emergencies like floods and tornadoes to man-made ones like hazardous material spills and active shooters, it helps to know what to do and how to respond,” said Hays County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Jones. “The Preparedness Fair will help all residents become familiar with the many aspects of personal safety that are so critical to their well-being.”

Jones also noted that preparedness is “crucial for the survivability of the community” following a disaster and encouraged citizens to think like pioneers – learn to rely on yourself and to help neighbors. The countywide emergency information site, www.haysinformed.com, has advice on preparedness actions, including items that should be included in home and vehicle emergency supply kits.

Attendees will learn more about area emergency response organizations and get information on training, products, and services available to help them better prepare for emergencies. A series of short seminars on safety will be held throughout the day that will empower citizens to help themselves, their family, and others. First responders from police and fire departments, EMS, search and rescue will show off some of the equipment – from SWAT vehicles to ambulances to a Blackhawk helicopter – used to protect citizens. Hays County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members will be at the event to share preparedness information and explain how CERT members – of which there are some 400 in Hays County – assist during emergencies.

While at the fair, enjoy music from local bands, food, games, and a raffle. Raffle proceeds will go to a local nonprofit recovery organization, the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (BR3T), which has helped communities recover from the 2015 floods and recently helped survivors of a horrendous apartment fire in San Marcos.

The free event is Saturday, September 14, at the Hays Consolidated Independent School District Performing Arts Center, 979 Kohlers Crossing, Kyle, TX 78640, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One-hour seminars include:

Stop the Bleed (10:15am and 12:45pm) -Today we live in a world where terrorism, the actions of unstable people, and the dangerous impulses of friends and relatives are genuine and becoming increasingly more frequent. Massive bleeding from any cause, but particularly from an active shooter or explosive event where a response is delayed can result in death. However, anyone at the scene can act as an immediate responder and save lives if they know what to do.

CRASE– Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (11:30am and 12:45pm) –This course, developed at the ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Center, teaches the Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) strategy for surviving an active shooter event. Learn what you should do to protect yourself and minimize your risk.

Firewise (10:15am and 12:45pm) National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise USA® program teaches people how to adapt to living within the Wildland Urban Interface and encourages neighbors to work together proactively to prevent losses from wildfire events.

Speakers will discuss some simple steps that homeowners can take to reduce their risk of loss and provide information on how their neighborhood can become recognized as a Firewise community in cooperation with the Texas A&M Forest Service.

Standard Response Protocol – SRP (10:15am and 2:00pm) Developed in 2013 by local public safety partners based on the iLoveYouGuys Foundation guidelines, the SRP is taught in every public and private school in Hays County and many businesses and government organizations.

The program teaches standardized vocabulary – Lockout, Lockdown, Shelter, and Evacuate – and what each requires of the people involved in a dangerous situation, whether it be an active shooter, hazardous material spill, fire, or weather emergency.

CPR/Take10 – (11:30am and 2:00pm) Stands for “Take 10 minutes to learn compression-only CPR.” It is community-based and peer-taught CPR training that is simple, fast and FREE. Learners gain skill by practicing giving compressions and gain confidence to act in an emergency.

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