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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: September 21, 2016


SMYRNA, DE (Sept. 21, 2016) - Standing in Delaware's Emergency Operations Center against a wall of televisions, Governor Jack Markell today asked Delawareans to visit the completely re-done and refreshed PrepareDE.org website. The website is designed to be "one-stop shopping" to help residents prepare for emergencies and know what to do when an emergency occurs.

"A prepared state is a safer state. Delawareans need access to information about different kinds of emergencies as well as how to prepare for and respond to those situations in the safest way," Governor Markell said at Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) headquarters. "We should plan for the worst, and hope for the best. This is important year-round, but especially now, as we are in hurricane season and the cold weather will soon arrive."

DEMA, the Delaware Citizens Corps, and the Division of Public Health (DPH)'s Preparedness Section updated the PrepareDE.org website to share preparedness messages and information, especially during disasters. The redesigned website features easy-to-read content, a search feature, and extensive information about how to help Delaware's most vulnerable: children, seniors, and individuals with access and functional needs. There is even information about preparedness for pets.

At the event, Governor Markell joined James Mosley, Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, and Henry Smith, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. Also on hand were DEMA Director A.J. Schall and Marny D. McLee, Sr., Program Manager of Citizen Corps and CERT.

"DEMA reminds Delawareans that the first 72 are on you, meaning that all households should be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours in case of extreme conditions," Secretary Mosley said. "That can only occur with prudent planning and implementation."

PrepareDE.org provides information about, and how to prepare for, different types of disasters, such as damaging storms, flooding, severe heat or cold events, chemical leaks, and terrorist attacks. The website also shares preparedness tools and information about emergency alerts and how to stay informed during times of disasters. There are also instructions on how to prepare a household disaster plan and an emergency supply kit.

The website is now more user-friendly and technologically sophisticated. A new feature is its ability to do real-time translation of all content into nine languages: Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, and Spanish. The Delaware Citizens Corps has posted YouTube preparedness videos.

"Disasters can overwhelm responders and communication infrastructure, and place our lives, our health, and the environment in jeopardy," Schall said. "DEMA and the Delaware Citizens Corps hope Delawareans will take 10 minutes to visit PrepareDE.org and follow through with our recommendations."

"Delaware Health and Social Services takes its duty to protect the health of Delawareans every day and in emergency situations to heart," Smith said. "We are so pleased to fund this effort and work with DEMA to update the website. This project is the result of months spent around the table, working as partners together, to help all Delawareans. The PrepareDE.org website puts a tremendous amount of preparedness resources at our fingertips."

"Disasters can be localized or widespread, but they are often unexpected," McLee said. "How well we get through our emergencies depends on our preparedness."

To learn more about family emergency preparedness, the public is invited to the 12th Annual Delaware Family Emergency Preparedness Day on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Delaware Agriculture Museum, located at 866 North Dupont Highway, in Dover. The free event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is hosted by the Delaware Citizen Corps and the Kent County Department of Public Safety. The event features interactive demonstrations, information booths, free training sessions, and a free lunch while supplies last. In 2015, more than 1,500 people attended.

To access the PrepareDE.org website, visit this link: http://www.preparede.org/. For Delawareans with mobility, hearing, vision, behavioral, and cognitive issues and their loved ones, the new website contains updated information on how to prepare for a disaster, plus a link to the "Preparedness Buddy" brochure. Step by step, the fillable Preparedness Buddy brochure provides information and guidance for people with disabilities and functional or access needs and their caregivers to capture the kind of special information you might need in a crisis. For more Delaware preparedness resources, contact DEMA at http://www.dema.delaware.gov/locations.shtml or 302-659-DEMA (3362) or 877-SAY-DEMA (877-729-3362 - Delaware only).

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.