The Ready-UP! program was created by self-reliance/preparedness/sustainable living expert Aton Edwards in Spring 2011 to function as a mechanism that trains the general public in the aforementioned disciplines. Edwards believed that the government created preparedness programs was not connecting with the public and that something more dynamic was needed to spark interest.
Drawing from his extensive experience in teaching preparedness to large audiences, he designed a program that he knew the public would enjoy. He then enlisted the aid of several of his colleagues who worked in the same field to join him; including his friends and radio partners on the KISS-FM (now WBLS-FM) popular radio program Open Line.
The creator of the Open Line, Peabody Award winning radio personality Bob Slade, convinced his management to sponsor the event. His partners two-time Grammy Award winning composer/musician and activist James M’tume, former Federal Judge and Garden State Association of Black Journalists award winner Bob Pickett also believed in the idea and, the first presentation was at St. Francis College on July 8th 2011.
It featured the program hosts, along with the participants: Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corp director Rocky Robinson and members of his organization. Representatives of the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Riverkeeper, and several other similar groups and organizations were also in attendance.
The event was a smash success. It was due to Sadly on August 13th 2011, Edwards mother, Doris succumbed to a stroke.
His mothers death combined with other family responsibilities forced Edwards to discontinue activities with the Ready-UP! program for several months.
He along with his friends and colleagues began to reactivate the program in late 2012, holding Ready-UP! workshops called “Escape From The Grid.” As they gained popularity, his group began to plan their next large forum corresponding television program and fundraiser, all slated to begin in the summer of 2013.
The upcoming main event is titled “Ready-UP! America” It will be held at a large capacity New York area venue. For the main live presentation, The Open Line radio show team will return along with most of the original participants & organizations. The target date for the kickoff program will be Saturday, June 1st – the beginning of Hurricane season.
Ready-UP! Events will continue through the summer and ending with a gala event in September, 2013.