Freeman News

Increasing Disaster Preparedness for National Awareness Month

September 12, 2019

Ozark Center Provides Ready in 3 Training to Community

September is National Preparedness Month, founded after 9/11 to increase disaster preparedness in America. Preparing for disasters, including tornadoes and floods as well as man-made disasters, can save lives and reduce stress in emergency situations.

Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, teaches Ready in 3 disaster preparedness training, which is endorsed by the American Red Cross, the State Emergency Management Agency and Missouri's Office of Homeland Security. Ready in 3 encourages participants to create a plan, prepare a kit and listen for more information.

All new staff at Ozark Center receive Ready in 3 training and are provided with a disaster plan/family safety plan. Ozark Center also teaches Ready in 3 in the community to any interested party. Additionally, Ozark Center staff teach young children about different kinds of weather and help them understand the differences between a thunderstorm and a tornado.

“Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere without notice,” says Debbie Fitzgerald, Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services. “Preparedness brings peace of mind that we can face challenges.”

To learn more about Ready in 3 training with Ozark Center, or to schedule a training for your organization, call 417.347.7600.



About Ozark Center

An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Mo., Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit or call 417.347.7600.

About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2019, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers.  U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2019.  With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit