About the Campaign

Gear up. Get Ready. It can happen! (GUGR) began as a community preparedness pilot campaign to increase awareness and drive action in preparing for all-hazard emergency and catastrophic events. The campaign is a program stemming from the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Planning Team (RCPT), IL-IN-WI Combined Statistical Area (CSA). GUGR was implemented December 2011 through June 2012 and spanned across three states inclusive of 16 counties. It reinforces and supports the existing preparedness outreach efforts of regional Emergency Managers, government agencies, private sector, non-profit and community/faith-based organizations.

Based upon best practices research, the campaign utilizes innovative approaches in engaging communities and strengthens whole community partnerships around preparedness. With use of a 16-foot GUGR branded vehicle loaded with preparedness activities, the campaign brought an engaging emergency experience into the heart of communities, where citizens work, live, play and worship.

The campaign touched 16 counties through media outreach and social networking with direct engagement in six counties. Campaign counties include: Will (IL), Cook (IL), Lake (IL), DuPage (IL), Porter (IN), and Lake (IN), DeKalb (IL), Grundy (IL), Kane (IL), Kankakee (IL), Kendall (IL), McHenry (IL), Jasper (IN), Newton (IN), Porter (IN), and Kenosha (WI).

Who Should Use This Toolkit & How?

The GUGR campaign was met with great enthusiasm and success within the communities it touched. The purpose of this toolkit is to equip partners with successful campaign components in order to sustain and build community momentum in their jurisdiction and municipalities. This toolkit should be used by individuals interested in implementing the GUGR campaign to help educate and ensure their community is prepared for all-hazard emergencies. Whether you currently organize emergency preparedness outreach or are looking to start, the various toolkit pieces provided can be applied to reach multiple community audiences.

The toolkit includes campaign materials that detail the planning process, learnings and resources used. Additional support guides are provided for those who serve and want to engage youth and schools, private sector, and people with access and functional needs (AFN).

Please note that this toolkit serves as a guide; however, elements of the campaign can be customized to best address your local objectives, priorities and needs. The toolkit is not intended for use in assessing the degree to which you and/or your family are prepared at home. For assistance in creating a personal emergency plan, visit www.gearupgetready.com.

What Do I Do if I Have Questions?

For more information about the GUGR campaign or the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Planning Team (RCPT) visit www.gearupgetready.com or contact Yvette Alexander, Director, External Operations - American Red Cross, at Yvette.Alexander@redcross.org or Earl Mashaw, Project Manager - Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program at Earl.Mashaw@cityofchicago.org.

About the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program

The Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) was initiated in 2008. RCPGP is focused on increasing catastrophic preparedness planning in high risk, high consequence areas. The central objectives of the grant program are to build a regional planning process within planning communities, fix shortcomings in existing plans and link operational needs to resource allocation. The latter provides the ability of the grant to promote citizen preparedness through messaging and outreach. Resource allocation is our ability to promote readiness and citizen preparedness steering toward the operational necessity of being prepared. The RCPGP team reaches out to the citizens of the Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin Combined Statistical Area with the one common goal of driving action toward preparedness.

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