The Bristol Mayor’s Office issued the following press release:
Bristol, CT – September 17, 2012 -September 22, 2012 inBristol is more than a Mum Festival event on the Boulevard. It’s a day to prepare for disasters, particularly for those residents ofBristol with hearing, vision or mobility impairments. Emergency managers and first responders have learned repeatedly about the challenges of serving this “special needs” population during a disaster and The City of Bristol is teaming with regional partners to develop a pilot program designed specifically to assist citizens with functional needs to be more resilient.
The Bristolpilot is the next phase of the Get Ready Capitol Region citizen preparedness program. Funded by the Urban Area Security Initiative grant and developed by The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), Get Ready Capitol Region promotes individual, business and community emergency preparedness in the 41 municipalities in CRCOG’s area of responsibility. The campaign recently launched a website, www.GetReadyCapitolRegion.org, designed to help prepare for emergencies.
Bristol’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities is leading the Bristolpilot effort with the support of Mayor Art Ward and his staff and CRCOG is providing resources to support program development. BE AWARE, PLAN, PREPARE is the Get Ready motto and the pilot program highlights the program’s functional needs resources. The campaign website, www.GetReadyCapitolRegion.org, is loaded with downloadable checklists and other materials to prepare residents, businesses and community leaders for the next disaster. Other features include recent news, advisories, and local volunteer opportunities. The site, in both English and Spanish, contains tailored information for special populations including seniors, families with children, pet owners and Spanish speakers in addition to those with physical and intellectual disabilities.
The pilot program is designed to directly assist individuals with functional needs and the organizations that support them. Get Ready volunteers hope to directly assist people at the Mum Festival with checklists and ideas for preparing, or provide them with contact information so they can connect with people trained to assist them in building preparedness plans and kits that meet their specific needs.
Mayor Ward said, “This program is a great fit forBristolbecause it supports the existing efforts of our Commission with great resources from CRCOG and this grant. The key to preparedness for the special
needs population is involvement and this program is built around making direct contact to help people meet their own special needs.”
Recent emergencies, which have included severe winter weather, major flooding, and Tropical Storm Irene, remind residents in our region that disasters can and do affect us. Hundreds of lives are saved each year because people took the time to be prepared, and the campaign message is simple: Be Aware. Plan. Prepare.
In addition to the website, CRCOG is engaging residents, businesses and community leaders through social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. Targeted outreach efforts are underway to reach residents in every corner of the Capitol Region.