Several different response agencies, spurred on by the congregation at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Mexico, are joining together to help the public understand more of what their role is in the community in times of disasters.
A Community Disaster Expo will be held by the church and the agencies on Sunday, June 11 from 2-5 p.m. The church is located at 1100 Grove Street in Mexico, directly to the east of Eugene Field Elementary School.
“This was an idea that came from our congregation who were wondering what we could do in the community to make a difference,” St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church Deacon Beth Simpson said. “We are very happy to see this has taken on a life of its’ own and has grown into this remarkable event for the whole family to come learn about how others work in the community to ensure their safety on a daily basis!”
At the Expo, various Audrain County agencies such as Mexico Public Safety, the Audrain Ambulance District, Audrain County Emergency Management Agency, and the American Red Cross will be on hand to let the public see how they plan on responding during a disaster situation. Also, several private entities such as Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Ameren Missouri, and the Air-Evac out of Moberly will be joining the public entities showing how they are also working to keep the public safe.
“The idea is one that we strive for in Audrain County,” stated Audrain County Emergency Management Director Steve Shaw. “It’s really encouraging to see faith-based entity’s such as St. Matthews take the lead on making events like this happen. This is a chance for residents of Audrain County to get an idea on how each agency works during a disaster in a non-disaster setting. Each entity will have their own booths with information about their service, plus there will be an educational talk given by representatives of several agencies during the Expo. Being able to show our residents how we will be there for them in the event of a disaster, or emergency situation, goes a long way in helping them to feel more secure about the environment they live and work in.”
Simpson said families will have the chance to visit displays by the various entities on hand, pick up information on how these agencies and private entities can help in times of disaster, and how they can keep their own families safe.
“Our hope is those in the community that attend this event will walk away feeling safer than when they came,” Simpson said. “By meeting some of the people that work there that help keep us safe in the community, it helps to pull down some walls that may be there between the public and those agencies and helps us become a safer community in which to live, work and thrive!”
Shaw said he’s excited for the opportunity for the public to learn more about what’s being done to keep the Audrain County community safe.
“This is such a good opportunity for residents to come out and learn about what we do and why we do it,” he said. “Any time we can spread our message about why we do what we do, it’s a win-win for the whole community, responders and public alike.”