Riley to state: Be prepared

By Staff
From staff reports
Even though the hurricane season has been calmer than last year's record number, state leaders still want residents to be prepared for natural disasters.
Gov. Bob Riley, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, and the Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives will host Alabama "Be Ready Day" tomorrow at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, according to a press release from Riley's office Tuesday.
The annual event enables attendees to receive education and training on ways to prepare for disasters and emergencies, learn of volunteer opportunities, and observe first responders demonstrating their preparedness and response capabilities. Riley is scheduled to address attendees at 1 p.m. All Alabamians are invited. The Space and Rocket center is located on I-565 just west of Huntsville.
"Alabama Be Ready Day offers citizens the opportunity to learn more about what they can do as individuals to help their families and their communities prepare for emergencies," Riley said. "At this event, Alabamians can find information and resources that will make them safer and help them 'be ready' before emergencies happen."
More than 40 national, state, and local agencies are participating in Alabama Be Ready Day. Some will display the equipment they use for homeland security and emergency response, and citizens can take part in interactive displays that give them hands-on opportunities to learn what actions they can take in emergencies.
This year's event also marks the inaugural session of Alabama Be Ready Camp for Kids, a four-day education program for 80 sixth graders from the Huntsville City, Madison City, and Madison County school systems. The purpose and focus of Alabama Be Ready Camp for Kids is to teach students about individual, family and community preparedness. The students will learn individual and collective preparedness skills, such as building an emergency shelter and participating as a member of a Community Emergency Response Team. They also tour the Madison County Emergency Operations Center as part of the camp.
Riley will present each of the 80 students a certificate for completing Alabama Be Ready Camp for Kids at the conclusion of his remarks on Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated September as National Preparedness Month in 2004. Alabama held its first Alabama Be Ready Day in September 2004 at the State Capitol in Montgomery. In 2005, the event was scheduled in Mobile but cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina.

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