El Paso residents are encouraged to sign up for the new State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) an info archive that could help in an emergency.

STEAR registration is recommended by El Paso Ready and PHEP. To keep your information fully up to date, you should register every year.

It's basically a data base of information first responders can access in an emergency situation to better tailor their efforts.

All the information you provide is kept confidential but shared among first responders so that they know who needs special aid in a crisis.

Say there's a fire in an apartment building; this registry would tell fire fighters which residents have breathing issues that smoke may aggravate or which ones can't move about freely. Get it?

The STEAR program is especially encouraged for El Pasoans who face special challenges like: disabilities, medical issues, limited mobility, have communication and/or language barriers or have transportation needs.

In an emergency involving multi resident buildings, office buildings or huge events that may involve neighborhoods or the entire city, a prior knowledge of who needs what can help emergency personnel save even more lives than just figuring things out as they go.

You can register for a STEAR account here or by calling 211. Completed registration forms can be faxed to (866) 557-1074 or emailed to STEAR@dps.texas.gov.

There are also a couple of websites you can visit to get more info about the STEAR program - ElPasoReady.org or you can go to EPHealth.gov. Once there, click on  Emergency Preparedness.

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