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Desmond Mason and Director Pettingill at PSA shoot

Homeland Security and Hornets Team to Encourage Oklahomans to Prepare for Emergencies

10/16/06

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets are announcing a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) encouraging Oklahomans to think about preparedness planning. The PSA features Desmond Mason, NO/OKC Hornets player; Sherri Coale, OU Women's Basketball Coach and Bart Conner, Olympic Gold Medalist and will run during Hornets games at the Ford Center in addition to home and away broadcasts on Cox Cable Channel 7.

"This year, we wanted to reach as many Oklahomans as possible through our preparedness efforts," said Kerry Pettingill, Oklahoma Homeland Security Director. "We began working on the concept of a Public Service Announcement and it seemed logical to partner with the Hornets because of their experience with Hurricane Katrina. Through our collaboration with the team, we have developed a quality PSA which promotes pre-planning for all types of emergencies."

"I would like to sincerely thank everyone associated with this project, especially the Hornets, Desmond Mason, Sherri Coale and Bart Conner," said Pettingill. "Each backed the project without question and made time in their busy schedules to shoot the PSA. Without their support we would not have the quality product we are able to share with Oklahomans. We hope everyone who watches the PSA is as impacted by the message as those who worked on the project."

OKOHS promotes three main principals to all Oklahomans: have a kit, make a plan and be informed. Consider that emergencies can be large and small -- from a devastating tornado to a small housefire. This PSA stresses the importance of planning for emergencies including identifying a neighborhood meeting place for your family and talking with your children about what to do if they can't get in touch with you during a disaster.

"Planning and preparation are the keys to success, both on and off the court," said Mason. "I wanted to be a part of this campaign because I believe preparedness can save lives in an emergency and this PSA can really help get that message across."

This project stemmed from OKOHS's 2006 National Preparedness Month preparedness campaign. National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools.

For more information on your emergency plan and what to include in your kit go to the Preparedness and Volunteering Link on the OKOHS Web site or www.ready.gov.