HOUSTON - According to the US Census Bureau, there are more than 500,000 individuals in the Houston-Galveston region with access and functional support needs. Previous regional evacuations brought to light the challenges these individuals and their families face during an emergency event.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) has developed two new products to help access and functional support needs (AFSN) individuals and others better prepare for hurricane season. As part of its "Together Against the Weather" (TAW) campaign, the agency is launching a new website, and is releasing a new point-of-service video.
www.togetheragainsttheweather.com features specific materials and information for educators, emergency management officials, families, parents, healthcare providers, houses of worship, media and service agencies. In addition, visitors to the website can contact their county emergency management offices with one click and get specific information pertinent to their county, as well as view evacuation maps. The site features instructional videos as well as print materials for download that can be customized and distributed by their organization, school or office.
The video demonstrates how to plan for a hurricane, including evacuation or remaining home in the event of a storm. Produced in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Vietnamese, the video also features American Sign Language and captioning for the hearing impaired.
Video content was developed from physician and parent input meetings, as well as feedback from emergency managers and pediatric service organizations throughout H-GAC's 13-county region. Actual families of AFSN children are featured in the 7-minute program that uses the TAW strategy of motivational questions to encourage action and overcome challenges.
Lori Upton, Director of Regional Preparedness for the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, said, "Pre-planning guidance to families with a medically fragile child will help ensure adequate provisions, medications, and equipment are identified in advance and help relieve some of the anxiety and stress associated with a disaster and the aftermath."
Alan Clark, H-GAC Transportation Director, added, "The Together Against the Weather program is an example of our commitment to ensure that all residents in our region are prepared for emergencies and disasters. The new pediatric point-of-service video will be a valuable preparedness resource for those caring for children with access and functional support needs."
About Houston-Galveston Area Council
H-GAC (www.h-gac.com) is a voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning Region-an area of 12,500 square miles and more than 5.7 million people. H-GAC works to promote efficient and accountable use of local, state, and federal tax dollars and serves as a problem-solving and information forum for local governments.
Together Against the Weather is a communications campaign created to help people with access and functional support needs better plan and prepare for hurricanes in the 13-county region of the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The Together Against the Weather strategies and tool kit of materials were developed to help overcome challenges experienced by the program's targeted audiences and to encourage the formation of supportive partnerships in advance of a storm.