Superfund Center Celebrates Successful ‘Plan Ahead, Be Prepared’ Event

The Superfund Research Center team with their booth

The Texas A&M Superfund Research Center’s “Plan Ahead, Be Prepared” event gathered emergency response experts from across the state to educate Texas A&M faculty, staff, and students and the Bryan/College Station community on the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.

On Feb. 10, emergency vehicles of all types filled Kyle Field Plaza while Texas A&M and external organizations set up informational tables nearby. Students visiting tables received free swag and advice for protecting their homes, families, and pets from hazards related to disasters.

“Awareness and preparation are key in taking the necessary steps to protect yourself,” said Arlean Rohde, Superfund Center manager. “We hope that the attendees not only gained tips on how to prepare themselves but also became aware of the various agencies that are involved in disaster response and the resources that are available to the Bryan/College Station community.

“As the kick-off for Texas A&M’s Disaster Week, this event was a great opportunity for the emergency response community to come together to share valuable tips with Aggies and the local Bryan/College Station community on planning ahead for natural and manmade disasters,” she said. “We were very pleased with the diverse participation from local, state, and national organizations, representing various sectors in the community, all focused on disaster preparedness.”

In addition to the Superfund Research Center, participating organizations from Texas A&M included the Center on Disability and Development, Geochemical & Environmental Research Group, the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, the Health Science Center, the Office of Safety & Security, the campus chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals, the Texas Water Resources Institute, and the Veterinary Emergency Team.

Texas Department of Emergency Management officials with a rescue boat

Participating organizations from the community and the state included the American Red Cross, Baylor Scott & White Health, the Brazos County Health District Emergency Preparedness, the Brazos Valley Citizen Corps/Community Emergency Response Team, Brazos Fellowship, the City of College Station/FEMA Floodplain,  the National Weather Service, Brookshire Brothers and Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy, Catholic Charities of Central Texas, the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Military Department’s 6th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Engineering Extension Service/Task Force 1, the Texas Veterinary Medical Reserve Corp, the United Way of the Brazos Valley/2-1-1 Texas, and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Those who attended the event also had the opportunity to donate to the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s mobile blood drive unit.

The Texas A&M Superfund Research Center is a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)-funded program comprising researchers from across the Texas A&M campus and several other academic centers that aims to comprehensively evaluate hazards of exposures to chemical mixtures and potential adverse health impacts to those affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes. A goal of the center is to develop better, faster, more informative tools that can aid in decision-making for planning and response to environmental contamination events.

Get announcements and updates for next year’s “Plan Ahead, Be Prepared” event on the Superfund Center’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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