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Community Outreach: Milwaukee County at the Wisconsin State Fair

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, WI - A grant from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provided the Milwaukee County Division of Emergency Management with funds to create an informative, eye-catching Community Outreach Display.

During the Wisconsin State Fair, held in Milwaukee from August 2 through 11, 2001, the Milwaukee Division of Emergency Management made contact with more than 10,000 people and handed out 24,400 pieces of disaster and storm preparedness materials. The take-away material covered a wide-range of topics, including flood-proofing how-tos, children's coloring books and FEMA Disaster Twins booklets, Family Disaster Plans, National Weather Service information packets and Taking Shelter from the Storm booklets.

Pat Fuchs, Project Coordinator for the Community Outreach Display, describes what it takes to create a successful exhibit:

Make it eye-catching. "We incorporated bright orange, yellow and blue colors into the display and used the Sheriff's logo."

Create an adaptable base so display images can be changed, if needed, to represent up-to-date disaster information. "For example, on the pop-up display portion, we created a cloth panel to which we Velcro pictures relating to the most recent weather and disaster events."

Plan for the costs of on-site space rental, hookup and utility costs, as well as salaries of booth staff.

Finally, partner with related agencies, like the Police and Fire Departments, to increase attention from attendees.

"The display helped tremendously in getting the response we did for our preparedness and disaster information at the State Fair," said Fuchs. "It was just astronomical how many people we touched."

Last updated June 3, 2020