Times are changing, and so is Brazosport’s CAER program as the area’s booming industrial center continues to grow.
CAER, or Community Awareness and Emergency Response, is an organization that promotes two-way communication between the community and industries in the area. It acts as a link between the two in order to provide Brazoria County residents with information in the event of an industrial emergency.
The program is comprised of about 20 industrial partners in the Brazosport area who work with CAER on a volunteer basis. Partners include Dow Chemical Co., BASF and Freeport LNG, CAER Vice President Reme Lara said.
“Every member’s goal is to keep their employees and the community safe; that’s why they are a part of CAER,” Lara said.
Brazosport CAER formed in 1985, making it one of the first CAER programs in the nation. Since it began, Brazosport CAER has worked to continually promote better communication with residents concerning chemical emergencies, the organization says.
Many of the methods it has historically used, however, have been superseded by technological advances. For instance, a database of home phone numbers won’t provide the extensive reach it did in past decades as many people no longer have landlines. There also are tens of thousands of new residents in the region who might not be aware of CAER and the important role it plays.
Program members recently have been working to completely revamp and revitalize CAER by changing communication methods and increasing awareness of the program, community awareness chairwoman Tabitha Ray said.
“Our community is completely different from when we were first founded,” Ray said. “We have had a lot of growth, new people have moved to our community and there has been a lot of change in technology. It is vital that CAER change as well.”
One of the ways it has changed it by getting upto-date with social media and creating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, with the latter two being the newest additions, Lara said. Brazosport CAER currently has 1,300 Facebook followers.
“We want to be the link between the industry