HCOHSEM, MOPD and Sight Into Sound partner to create emergency tips for the visually impaired
HOUSTON — The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM), in collaboration with the Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) and Sight Into Sound, have developed emergency preparedness tips for individuals who visually impaired.
The collaboration between HCOHSEM and MOPD is designed to ensure that visually challenged people have access to emergency preparedness information in audio formats in English and Spanish. The knowledge is particularly crucial at this time of the year, as hurricane season for Texas Gulf Coast began June 1st and may still be here until November 30th.
“Harris County understands that persons who are blind or visually impaired need 24/7 access to life-saving information when disasters strike. This partnership is all about providing access to this underserved community and we are excited to make it happen,” said Harris County Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Francisco Sanchez.
“As we have seen with recent weather events, emergency preparedness is a yearlong exercise and I am excited to have these resources created with blind and low-vision Houstonians in mind. Last year’s partnership with Harris County and Deaf Link to create ASL messaging around emergency preparations made this an easy next step,” said Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Director, Gabe Cazares.
The audio messages cover 11 topics: evacuation assistance, evacuation zones, flood insurance, Get a Kit, Make a Plan, medical care, mental health support, pet preparedness, power outages, sheltering information, and stay informed. All are being broadcasted on Sight Into Sound Radio on KUHT-TV’s Channel 8.5, KUHF-FM’s digital HD Channel 4, and are available to stream on a computer, smartphone, or smart speaker using Amazon Alexa.