Monday, September 5, 2011

Are YOU ready for the ride of your life?

C4L announces new campaign in Dorothy tradition

Hudson, IA. Chasing4Life has become a leader in disaster preparedness education across the United States over the years and nobody will contend that we owe much of this growth and popularity to “Dorothy”.
For several years, Chasing4Life’s founder, Eddy Weiss, toured the country in Dorothy, a fully outfitted storm chase vehicle visiting hundreds of libraries, schools, churches and organizations with a message about disaster preparedness.
Three years ago this month, Dorothy was donated to the Sci-Tech Children’s Museum in Aurora, Illinois where she still continues to thrill and to teach.
The popularity of Dorothy and the connection that she made was incredible. Dorothy became an icon that was recognized by families across the country and the Chasing4Life office still receives letters for her every month.
2011 has been a year of disasters like none we have ever seen in the United States and many have referred to this year as “the ride of their life”. It has been statements like this that have inspired a new preparedness campaign to follow that of Dorothy’s.
Chasing4Life is excited to announce that in January of 2012, we will launch Chasing4Life’s “8 Seconds”. This new preparedness and training campaign will feature new programs with a new theme. You will see new instructors, a broadened scope of programming, and a tremendous increase in trainings for fire departments, emergency management agencies, law enforcement agencies and disaster response organizations.
Like the original Chasing4Life “Dorothy” campaign, this campaign will have its motorized spokesperson as well; our new Mobile Command Unit “8 Seconds”.
The campaign is inspired by how quickly lives were changed in 2011 and by the drama and popularity of rodeo; particularly bull riding.
“Our family has always loved the rodeo,” explained Weiss recently. “As the year progressed and we watched these disasters unfold, interviewed the victims and aided in recovery, we were overwhelmed at how fast lives were changed by disaster. It can all be gone in less time than it takes a rodeo star to win a buckle…less than 8 seconds!”
The new campaign will be themed around the “8 second ride” in bull riding.
“A bull rider is judged on many things, but it all comes down to their actions during that 8 second ride…and of course, they have to stay on the whole 8 seconds!” said Weiss.
“Disasters are often like that bull charging out of the chute,” he explains. “It is raw power, and it is just you against him at that point. It all comes down to how hard you have trained and how determined you are.”
The new campaign will feature the release of a special edition of the “Red Book”, a disaster preparedness guide that Chasing4Life has sold for the last two years. New DVD’s will be available as well as Chasing4Life will focus more on training programs for agencies and response teams as well.
At the center of it all?
The new Mobile Command Unit will begin to go through modifications over the next two months to make it a vehicle that rivals Dorothy according to Chasing4Life staff. This vehicle will be used by the Chasing4Life Disaster Response Team (C4LDRT) in disaster response deployments, but will also make special appearances at events, festivals, fairs, shows and conferences in the tradition of Dorothy’s travels.
The command unit will feature a rodeo theme and is a converted ambulance that will be used to set up and monitor disaster response operations, severe weather situations and mobile communications.
“We’ve got our boots on and we’re ready to ride,” stated Brandi Hodgen, the Chasing4Life coordinator that will operate the unit in the field. “We cannot wait to roll this out and start this new campaign. The message is great, the theme is great and we think the people will love it”.
Plans are being made to partner with new sponsors for the new campaign and the staff at Chasing4Life is already talking about new coloring books and the possibility of a music video as the campaign progresses into the new year.