Several emergency response team representatives were on hand Saturday at the city of Killeen’s inaugural Emergency Preparedness Day event to educate people on how to prepare themselves and their families for disaster situations.
“When a major disaster happens the first responder on scene is generally the people that are around when the incident takes place, and if they don’t know how to take care of things they are adding to the problem,” said Chad Berg, coordinator for emergency management and homeland security.
In Killeen, Berg said, the ratio of people to emergency units is large so the city is attempting to create a disaster response team of volunteers to help if needed.
Visitors were given demonstrations of simulated fire extinguisher training, EMS response procedures and a fully-equipped mobile medical hospital.
Curtis McDonald, coordinator for Emergency Medical Task Force 7, said the community needs to understand the state has taken steps to improve medical care in case of disaster. “We now have a plan that will help fill that gap between those events that are bigger than local but not quite big enough for federal aid.”
Moana Marquez, a native of Germany, brought her family to the event to get information on how to survive Texas’s unpredictable weather.
“When I first got here there was a tornado and I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I think it’s important for me and my husband and the kids to know what to do and where to go just in case something happens.”
Her husband, Daniel Marquez, said he felt comforted the city provides information that might help protect his family. “If I’m deployed and something happens to either my kids or my wife I want to know that somebody can render aid to them.”
Kelley Reszetylo, disaster chair for the Fort Hood Red Cross, said everyone should be aware of how to handle emergency responses because there is no warning when a disaster hits. “You always think that it’s never gonna happen to you and then it does and you’re completely unprepared. But if you have that disaster kit or an evacuation plan for your family you will be ready for it.”