Hays County Office of Emergency Services to host annual Emergency Preparedness Fair
The Hays County Office of Emergency Services will host its annual Emergency Preparedness Fair in September, the county recently announced.
Attendees can take classes to learn how to make a preparedness kit and hear from experts about how to be ready to face emergency situations on Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center in Kyle. Those in attendance will also be able to learn about Hays County’s emergency alert system, talk to first responders and find out additional information about the Community Emergency Response Team.
“Knowing what do to in an emergency can mean the difference between life and death,” OES Director Mike Jones said in a statement. “Being prepared gives people the confidence to help their family and neighbors until first responders arrive. This fair is an excellent way for Hays County residents to learn to be resourceful and prepared for just about anything.”
As a reason to attend this year’s fair, Jones highlighted February’s Winter Storm Uri that caused havoc in Central Texas with power and water knocked out for days. The county said Jones and his OES staff helped deliver water to hundreds of Hays County residents, while local groups across the area helped deliver food and supplies.
“We had county residents living in homes without running water, without any power and in some cases, unable to get any food,” he said. “How can we help prepare people for that kind of emergency?”
Jones also remembered the 2015 and 2017 floods that impacted much of Hays County, stating that the preparedness fair can help people handle most any crisis.
“Being prepared means having supplies on hand, knowing what to do and providing help to those in need,” Jones added.
The county said the fair will have classes such as Stop the Bleed (tourniquets); Citizen Response Active Shooter Events (CRASE); CPR take 10, FireWise (Wildland Fire Home Preparation), Standard Response Protocol (SRP) business and school response for sheltering in place and evacuations.
Vendors will also be on hand to offer suggestions about insurance coverage and financial issues following a crisis, and knowing what documents to take in case of an evacuation.
With a spike in COVID-19 cases, the county highlighted its health and safety protocols it will be taking during the fair, which include the following: Extra space between vendor booths; outdoor vendors and exhibitors (weather permitting); masks and hand sanitizer available to all vendors and participants; the CERT team will provide cleaning and disinfection of common areas; bathrooms with handwashing stations will be available; and vaccine doses will be available for those interested.
For more information about the Hays County Emergency Preparedness Fair, visit haysinformed.com. Those interested in hosting a booth or donating a raffle item can contact Michelle Gardner at Michelle.Gardner@co.hays.tx.us. Raffle and silent auction proceeds benefit the Hays County Fire Chiefs Association and BR3T.