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Press Release

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

John Cherry
(850) 413-9969

Governor Crist Proclaims August as “Kids Get a Plan Month”
~ Elementary School Students Statewide to Learn About Disaster Preparedness ~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today proclaimed August “Kids Get A Plan Month” in Florida. The Florida Division of Emergency Management in partnership with the Florida Department of Education and county emergency management agencies will be hosting events throughout the state this month to highlight a new online tool – www.KidsGetAPlan.com – for Florida’s students, and the importance of disaster preparation among Florida’s youngest residents.

“By educating our students before a disaster about how to be prepared, we ensure our youngest residents have the tools they need now and in the future to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” Governor Crist said. “I encourage Florida’s parents and teachers to help our students understand the importance of being ready for severe weather.”

Through the Division of Emergency Management’s new interactive Web site, kindergarten through fifth grade students will have the opportunity to learn about disaster preparedness at school and home. The Web site features online activities that allow students to assemble virtual supply kits, learn how to stay safe during a thunderstorm, how to prepare their home for severe weather and how to protect themselves from hazards such as tornadoes.

“It’s vital that we teach our children proper safety techniques and emphasize the importance of having a plan during emergencies,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Our schools serve as the perfect venue to help get this information out, and I look forward to working with our partners to expand the culture of preparedness in Florida.”

“Being prepared for disasters is a year-round commitment that Floridians of all ages must participate in,” said Ruben D. Almaguer, Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Governor Crist’s dedication to educating Florida’s students on the importance of their family having a plan to deal with disasters is another example of his commitment to the safety our residents. We appreciate the partnership with the Florida Department of Education and each of the school districts, as well as our county emergency management agencies to make this a fun and educational month for our students.”

For more information on “Kids Get A Plan Month,” please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org or www.KidsGetAPlan.com.

The text of the Kids Get A Plan proclamation issued by Governor Crist is as follows:

Charlie Crist, Governor - Florida Kids Get a Plan Month

WHEREAS, Florida's residents and numerous visitors must remain aware of, and be prepared for all hazards, including natural hazards such as hurricanes, rip currents and lightning, and man-made hazards, including threats to domestic security, by adopting a culture of preparedness; and

WHEREAS, continuous public education and community outreach are among the best methods of preparing and protecting Floridians for the hazards they may encounter; and

WHEREAS, a public that is well informed of the dangers associated with hazardous weather can improve its preparedness and reduce the occurrence of death and injury as a result of weather conditions; and

WHEREAS, all Floridians are urged to take personal responsibility and develop a disaster preparedness plan based on their own needs; and

WHEREAS, in 2009, the State of Florida developed a new educational resource, www.KidsGetAPlan.com where students, parents, and teachers can obtain disaster safety information, books, and learning tools; and

WHEREAS, Florida's State Emergency Response Team remains committed to meeting the needs of Floridians before, during, and after times of disaster; and

WHEREAS, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Florida Department of Education and County Emergency Management Agencies wish to stress the importance of education by disseminating safety and preparedness information to the youth and people of the state;

NOW, THEREFORE I, Charlie Crist, Governor of the state of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes all persons who are fostering a culture of preparedness by visiting www.FloridaDisaster.org and www.KIDSGETAPLAN.com and observing August 2009 as Kids Get A Plan Month in Florida and urge the cooperation of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the 67 county emergency management agencies, the Florida Department of Education, the 67 county school districts, and the state's news media outlets in efforts to educate and inform all residents and visitors of the proper safety measures that should be taken when hazardous weather conditions and man-made hazards occur.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capital, this 27th day of July, in the year two thousand nine.

THE CAPITOL - TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399 • (850) 488-2272 • FAX (850) 922-4292