A member of the Community Emergency Response Team assists an injured woman
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Preparing for Electromagnetic Attacks Surges through “Hub City”

March 2016

Lubbock residents learned how to protect their electronic devices and credit cards from cybersecurity threats

In Lubbock, TX, also known as “Hub City” from it being the economic, education, and health care hub of the multicounty region, residents face many natural hazards throughout the year, including earthquakes, extreme heat, flooding, high-speed winds, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. The city has also dealt with chemical and traffic hazards, as well as terrorist threats.
To help residents in Lubbock and surrounding areas prepare for these hazards, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) launched Lubbock’s PrepareAthon! on September 10, 2015. Under the direction of Liz Broadstreet, Ph.D., a program specialist with the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Team, nearly 100 residents participated in Lubbock’s second annual citywide preparedness fair, joining millions of other people who engaged in preparedness activities registered in collaboration with America’s PrepareAthon!

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of Preparedness
For this year’s PrepareAthon!, Broadstreet and a team of volunteers taught attendees some of the basics, like the importance of having a weather radio approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an emergency kit, and a family communication plan.
Karen McDonald, a program specialist with the State Zoonosis Control Program, said that just two weeks after she attended the PrepareAthon! she was at a store when she heard that credit card machines had gone down nationwide. I wondered how long it was going to last, and whether we would have enough cash to make it through.” McDonald said that both the PrepareAthon! and the incident have prompted some really good discussions about preparing for all kinds of threats. “We’re not totally prepared, but we’re working on it,” she added.

Expanding Texas’ Preparedness Network
To promote participation in its PrepareAthon! during National Preparedness Month, DSHS released daily preparedness tips via mass emails. Staff shared these tips with friends and family to help spark conversations about preparedness at home.
For more information on how you can prepare yourself and loved ones for potential disasters, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services’ website, which offers continuing education credits on family emergency preparedness, sheltering in place, and more ways to prepare. You can also visit www.texasprepares.org for more preparedness tips.