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El Paso launches new Neighborhood Emergency Response Program

KDBC
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 12:02pm

As part of National Preparedness Month El Paso is launching the first ever Neighborhood Emergency Response Program, or NERP.

The program trains neighborhood watch volunteers to respond in an emergency situation. About 38 people will take 20 hours of evening classes, which will include disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations, fire suppression, training in search and rescue, and disaster psychology. At the end of the training, the volunteers will respond to a mock incident with mock victims.

"It's a plan that is going to encourage communities or neighborhood watch groups to put a plan together, to help build resilience within the community," said Maria Zuloaga, El Paso Public Safety Planner.

If local neighborhood watches are interested in participating, they can call 915-838-3269.

FEMA is promoting an "Interactive Emergency Kit," which includes step-by-step disaster prep guidelines.

For online emergency preparedness information, go to http://home.elpasotexas.gov/fire-department/resolve-to-be-ready.php.

FEMA has also launched a new app that allows users to take a picture if disaster strikes, upload it, and FEMA will then put it on a public map. This gives everyone in a disaster area the ability to upload and view information in a centralized place, allowing emergency responders to get the information in real time.

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