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GOV. HENRY PROCLAIMS SEPTEMBER NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH, ACTIVITIES SLATED ACROSS OKLAHOMA

09-01-2005

OKLAHOMA CITY - For the second year, the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) joins the rest of the nation in encouraging citizens to be proactive by participating in National Preparedness Month 2005.  Gov. Brad Henry issued a proclamation today declaring September to be National Preparedness Month and calling on Oklahomans to recognize the importance of preparing for potential emergencies.

"The realities of the world today dictate that we exercise caution and preparation," the Governor said.  "The tragic aftermath of Hurricane katrina this week is a stark reminder that emergencies can occur anywhere and at any time.  It is important that families take the steps necessary to be prepared in the event of crisis.  A number of activities that are part of National Preparedness Month are aimed at getting relevant information to Oklahoma families.  I encourage citizens to take advantage of this valuable opportunity."

The goal of National Preparedness Month 2005 is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and encourage individuals to take action.  That message is being delivered across the state thanks to a number of Oklahoma businesses and organizations that have agreed to partner in the Oklahoma National Preparedness Month Coalition.

"Homeland Security begins at home," said Kerry Pettingill, Oklahoma Homeland Security Director.  "By taking four simple steps which include getting a kid, making a plan, being informed and getting involved, the people of this great state can prepare themselves and their families for any emergency.  I am pleased by the number of coalition partners that are joining us in spreading this preparedness message to their customers, employees and families."

Nationally, National Preparedness Month 2005 is being co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the American Red Cross.  Representatives from various Oklahoma chapters of the American Red Cross were in Oklahoma City today as Gov. Henry signed the proclamation.

"During an emergency, the more you have planned ahead of time, the calmer and more assured you and your family will be," said Vince Hernandez, CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma.  "Every family in Oklahoma should have a plan of action for an emergency or disaster at home, school, the office or anywhere their daily routine takes them."

Oklahoma National Preparedness Month Coalition Partners:

  • INTEGRIS Health
  • Kerr McGee
  • Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism
  • Nordam Group
  • Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
  • Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health
  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
  • Oklahoma Trucking Association
  • Shawnee Mills
  • The State Chamber
  • United States Attorney's Office (Western District)
  • Ponca City Emergency Management
  • Midwest City Emergency Management
  • Community Services for the Deaf
  • Oklahoma RedHawks Baseball Club
  • East Central University
  • Devon Energy

Across the state there are a number of activities scheduled in conjunction with National Preparedness Month.  The Nordam Group in Tulsa is reviewing and updating their corporate emergency preparedness guide as well as distributing preparedness information to their employees.  The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education area sharing preparedness information with state colleges and universities through the System Safety Health and Environment Resource Center.  In addition, the Ponca City Emergency Management hopes to distribute preparedness information at the Kay County Fair.

Other activities include:

  • 9/2/05 - The OKOHS partners with the American Red Cross and the Oklahoma RedHawks baseball team to distribute preparedness information to baseball fans.  ARC will have their Emergency Response Vehicle parked in front of the stadium and open for people to tour.
  • 9/12/05 - OKOHS is partnering with the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) and inviting the top 100 businesses in Oklahoma to discuss business continuity planning at a forum.
  • 9/13/05 - The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and National Weather Service promote the importance of Safe Rooms at a 10 a.m. event in Tulsa.
  • 9/20-22/05 - OKOHS will be a part of the Oklahoma State Fair Education Program.  Thousands of Oklahoma elementary school-aged children (both public and home schooled) participate in the Education Program.  OKOHS will assist in presenting preparedness information during each orientation session.
  • 9/22/05 - The Heart of Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross is partnering with the City of Norman Emergency Management to distribute preparedness information at Sooner Mall from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • September - Devon Energy plans to distribute preparedness materials to employees through the month, provide CPR/AED training, issue a revised emergency response plan and conduct an emergency drill.

This is the second annual National Preparedness Month.  During the first National Preparedness Month, held in September 2004, a coalition fo more than 80 organizations and all 56 states and territories held hundreds of events and activities across the nation.

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