The matter involves the names and conditions of anyone on the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR). The registry needs to be updated every year, Willow said, and that is not difficult.
The registry is for anyone who might need assistance if an evacuation is necessary during an emergency or a disaster.
The registry provides local emergency planners and responders with any information they might need to properly and quickly evacuate a disabled person in an emergency or to make sure a resident has any assistance they might need.
The information is made available to rescue agencies through the Emergency Operations Center in the event of an emergency.
Willow said those who need to register include persons with:
•Disabilities and those who have access to functional needs such as:
— Those with limited mobility.
— Those who have communications barriers.
— Those who require additional medical assistance during an emergency.
— Anyone who requires personal care assistance.
Those who need to update their status with the registry may:
•Dial 2-1-1- or use their video phone relay option of choice to contact 211.
•Printed or electronic forms may be obtained by contacting the local government.
Information required on the registry includes name, address, telephone number and primary language spoken.
County officials also will want to know emergency contact information, caregiver information, what pets the person has, whether transportation is needed for home evacuation, what communication barriers might be involved and the disability, functional or medical needs.
Registration is voluntary, but anyone who feels he or she might need assistance in an emergency situation, such as an evacuation, should take advantage of the program.
All information provided by the person registering is kept confidential.
Willow can be contacted by calling Bee County’s central telephone system at (361) 621-1550.
Willow’s office is located at the Bee County Justice Center building at 111 S. St. Mary’s St., Suite 201, Beeville, TX 78102.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.