It takes a village to be prepared for disasters

September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme — “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can” — focuses on the goal to increase the number of individuals, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school and places of worship. Part 2 of a four-part series:

Comprehensive preparedness requires the whole community to participate, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency places tremendous value on communities that embrace a local Neighbors Helping Neighbors approach.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors empowers community leaders to involve and educate individuals from their community about simple steps to become more prepared.

Forty-six percent of individuals expect to rely a great deal on people in their neighborhood for assistance within the first 72 hours after a disaster. When the whole community comes together to respond to and help recover from these emergencies, we can often meet the needs of everyone.

The Neighbor Helping Neighbor approach seeks to support state and local agencies, civic organizations, faith-based groups and other community organizations that serve the whole community. FEMA works to provide these organizations with additional tools and preparedness training opportunities so they can become more prepared. This includes pointers on creating a Community Preparedness Toolkit.

KnoWhat2Do is a regional North Central Texas preparedness program that promotes Think, Prepare and Act strategies to enable your family to become prepared for any incident.

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Blue Mound Road construction to begin

Construction is scheduled to begin on Blue Mound Road on Sept. 18. City crews will start construction on the interchange — widening Blue Mound Road under the State Highway 287 bridge from two lanes to four lanes. Upon completion of the pavement work, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will install traffic signals.

Construction is expected to last two months, and two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times. Construction along Blue Mound Road and Willow Springs is expected to begin in mid to late spring 2018.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Mitch Aiton at 817-392-6591.

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Riverside Park excavation completed

All excavation and dirt work has been completed at Riverside Park as finishing touches are being made on the yearlong project. The Riverside Park River Connect Plan provides needed flood control and makes way for future park improvements.

Park users can expect a new parking lot with easy trail access and a new kayak launch along the river’s edge. The park will also be ready for improved soccer fields.

The Trinity River Vision’s River Connect Plan will provide enhanced flood protection throughout Fort Worth. The plan was adopted in 2010 as the master plan for Riverside Park.

Work is expected to last through September.

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Victory Forest Community Center taking shape

Fort Worth’s newest community center is closer to opening its doors to an eager public.

Construction on Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St., resumed on July 3. Crews have installed the HVAC system and steel structures for basketball goals as well as cabinets and countertops. Painting and electrical work is also underway, and audio visual systems are being installed.

The gym floor installation begins in the next few weeks.

The outside of the building is also taking shape. The waterproofing on the building is being reinstalled. Brickwork on the back of the building is underway and the irrigation system and fencing is scheduled to begin.

About Victory Forest Community Center

This premier facility in south Fort Worth will include:

  • A 2,000-square-foot fitness room complete with cardio, strength equipment and free weights.
  • A full-size gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and other sports.
  • A state-of-the-art teaching kitchen for cooking and nutrition classes.
  • An outdoor stage for community performances.
  • Multipurpose spaces and outdoor patios for special events.
  • A classroom/computer lab and youth play area.
  • Recreational programming that will be offered to all ages — from art to Zumba, and everything in between.

Early Bird Fitness Memberships go on sale Oct. 2.

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Sewer line to be replaced in Fossil Creek area

Design of the Upper Big Fossil Creek Wastewater Improvement project is underway. The city’s Water Department will meet with residents at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at The Golf Club Fossil Creek, 3401 Clubgate Drive, to discuss the planned improvements.

The affected area includes Big Fossil Creek Bridge from Western Center Boulevard to North Beach Street.

Make plans to attend and find out more about the impacts to area residents.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Walter Norwood at 817-392-5026.

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Surveillance cameras being installed as part of Stop Six revitalization program

As the next step in a $2.56 million investment in the Cavile Place/Stop Six community, surveillance cameras are being installed to help improve public safety.

About two dozen mobile surveillance cameras are being installed to help the Fort Worth Police Department keep a 24-7 eye on known hot spots of criminal activity.

About the Stop Six initiative

The targeted area is bordered by Rosedale Street on the north, Ramey Avenue on the south, Stalcup Road on the east and just west of Edgewood Terrace on the west.

The City Council set aside $2.56 million in funding to implement capital projects aimed specifically at improving neighborhoods. This funding may be designated for targeted neighborhoods on an annual basis.

The revitalization has a dual purpose: increase public safety and improve the looks of the neighborhood.

Depending on results, similar revitalization programs will be rolled out in a different neighborhood in the coming years.

View a new video that shows the positive impact this program is having on Stop Six.

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Residents with special needs should look into registering for SNAP

The Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management is asking residents with a special, access or functional need to register in its free Special Needs Assistance Program, known as SNAP.

This is not the federal government’s food stamp program that goes by a similar name, but an online registration database to provide information on a resident’s ability to vacate their residence in case of a disaster. The program is available to any resident with a special, cognitive, access or functional need. There are no age or health limitations.

During registration, residents will answer questions about age, weight, location, contact capabilities, principal language, emergency contact and what special needs they have. Examples of common needs are:

  • Electricity needed to power medical equipment.
  • Alzheimer’s.
  • Autism.
  • Blind or visually impaired.
  • COPD.
  • Deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Use of guide dog or service animal.
  • Use of wheelchair, walker or crutches.
  • Intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Life support.
  • Restricted to bed.
  • Use of oxygen.

Information provided will be used by emergency management personnel in disaster response plans and first responders when a 911 call is received from a registered address.

Register online or by calling the Office of Emergency Management at 817-392-6170 or 817-392-6144. Registration is in English or Spanish.

Participants do not need to register themselves. A person’s spouse, relative, friend, neighbor, church group or health system can complete the registration. Registration information will be maintained in a restricted-access database to be used only by authorized and participating public agencies and any other person, organization or entity which the registrant has given express access permission, and to the extent allowed by law, will be kept confidential. Registrations must be updated annually to keep information and locations current.

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Curious about the 2018 bond program? New video has details

To address Fort Worth’s unprecedented growth and the challenges that come along with it, the City Council will call for a bond election in May 2018. If approved by voters, the bond package would provide funding to build new roads and repair existing ones; add new park amenities, community centers and public safety facility improvements; and replace an aging library.

A new video provides an introduction to the bond process and mentions some of the priorities for the proposed bond election.

Visit the bond program page to see a schedule of upcoming public meetings or to suggest a project.

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Resource Fair provides one-stop assistance to Hurricane Harvey evacuees

Learn about all the resources available to folks affected by Hurricane Harvey at a Resource Fair, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Resource Connection Gymnasium, 2300 Circle Drive. The fair is sponsored by the City of Fort Worth Community Action Partners and other local agencies.

Free resources include FEMA, housing resources, unemployment assistance, job search, mental health and recovery services, Fort Worth ISD enrollment, healthcare, veteran services, vital records, Red Cross, childcare services, emergency assessments and assistance, and transportation.

Participants must provide proof of residence in the hurricane-affected area.

Learn more about available resources by calling 211.

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I-35W TEXpress lanes contribute portion of tolls to hurricane relief

The North Tarrant TEXpress, NTE 35W TEXpress and LBJ TEXpress donated $45,000 from tolls collected from TEXpress lanes on Sept. 2 to the American Red Cross in support of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“We have friends, family and colleagues with all those people in Southeast Texas in the midst of the devastation caused by this hurricane,” said North Texas CEO Alberto Gonzalez. “We felt like we needed to do something and we know the American Red Cross touches every aspect of a disaster relief effort, especially one of this magnitude.”

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