Expo helps state ‘be ready’

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tents were going up Wednesday afternoon in Tailgate Terrace as Troy and Troy University prepared to host “Be Ready-Alabama” day.

The event, which begins at 9 a.m. today, is designed to help the public be aware, informed and prepared for natural and manmade disasters. It will include interactive demonstrations and exhibits, as well as plenty of educational materials.

In addition, the day will culminate with a 9/11 remembrance service with Gov. Robert Bentley.

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The parking lot outside Sartain Hall will be filled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with all sorts of emergency response equipment and responders, standing ready to help educate the public about what they can do to “be informed, be involved and be ready.”

“It’s sort of like an expo,” said Jeanna Barnes, Pike County EMA director. Beginning at 9 a.m. representatives from numerous agencies – from local fire, police and sheriff’s departments to the state EMA and Homeland Security – will have equipment set up for the public to view and representatives on hand to help educate and answer questions. Barnes said equipment will include fire trucks, police cars and even the state EMA’s communications trailer.

“This is really about helping you learn what you can do to be prepared in the event of any type of emergency,” Barnes said. “September is National Preparedness Month, and this is the state’s preparedness event.”

The 9/11 rememberance service begins at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.

“Because (today) is Sept. 8, and so close to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, the governor’s office decided to go ahead and have the state’s memorial service here during this event.

More than 300 school children from area schools also will take part in the event, and organizers are hoping the event will draw large crowds.

The event is sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, the Pike County Emergency Management Agency and Troy University.