A last-minute purchase of batteries. A scramble to find bottled water and bagged ice. Maybe even a long look at the bank account to see if there’s enough money to buy a generator. For many citizens, that’s how hurricane preparation begins. And for most of that group, the time to make those purchases doesn’t occur until the storm is imminent.

But when the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Operation Prepare takes to the streets of three Baton Rouge evacuee communities this weekend, residents will get a crash course in getting ready for an emergency, especially a hurricane.

On Saturday, July 14, the Louisiana Department of Health - Office of Public Health will continue with its second annual Operation Prepare. The event is a traveling information fair, in which public health workers visit evacuee communities and other vulnerable neighborhoods to distribute critical information about hurricane readiness and disaster preparation.

In Baton Rouge, the event is scheduled for the three FEMA trailer park communities. Teams made up of nurses, social workers, mental health staff, sanitarians and other OPH partners will go door-to-door in these trailer parks to distribute information packets and discuss the importance of disaster readiness.

WHAT: Operation Prepare - a traveling information fair to distribute critical information

WHEN: July 14, 2007

9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

WHERE: Renaissance Village, 2000 Groom Rd, Baker, La.

Greenwell Village, 7185 Greenwell St, Baton Rouge, La.

Mt. Olive Gardens, 3155 Victoria Dr, Baton Rouge, La

Operation Prepare will continue to visit other vulnerable communities, with similar events planned in Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes throughout the rest of the year. The program is a collaboration between LA Harmony, Volunteer BR, the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program, Capitol Area Human Services District, the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Center for Community Preparedness, Louisiana Spirit, Greater King David Church and the Baker Police Department.

For more information on Operation Prepare, contact Ida Green, administrator for OPH Region II, at (225) 242-4884. For more information on emergency preparation visit the state emergency information Web site at www.emergency.louisiana.gov.