As we learned as Hurricane Ike approached the area, things can get frantic when a storm is bearing down on us.? Getting ready for landfall and getting back to normal after a storm are both made easier if you prepare for a hurricane before it is on the horizon. If you have a hurricane kit, now’s the time to review it, if you don’t, now’s the time to make one.? Mark Sloan is the Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator with things people should be gathering together.
“Making sure they have non-perishable foods, looking in their cabinets, looking in their food supplies to take care of themselves and families for three to seven days, and don’t forget your pets.? Also understand that they need bottled water and if you’re going to have additional resources such as the medications, make sure that those have enough to last you that period of time as we go through that initial recovery process.”
Sloan says you should have a radio and flashlight with batteries; clothing and bedding should you need to evacuate, and any special products for babies, the elderly or special needs members of the family. If a pet is involved make sure you have a carrier to for it.
It’s also important to think about important documents.
“Having your insurance up to date and having those documents with you in a waterproof bag ready to go if you need them, just make some copies; pictures of your property.? There’s a whole lot of things that you can find out what to do by going to our web site in preparing for hurricane season.”
For more information, visit the the Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (OHSEM) Web site.
Some people may have to evacuate the area.? The old adage is you run from the water and hide from the wind. Depending on the size of the storm surge, authorities will broadcast zip codes that should be evacuated.?
“If you’re not sure if you’re in a surge zone area I recommend talking with your local emergency management office.”
There are maps that show storm surge areas generally and again you can our link to find them. Just enter your address and zip code and it will show you the surge zones for the five hurricane categories.
The Harris County web site also has a list of the things you should have and should do for hurricane season.? Sloan suggests if money is an issue you may want to accumulate your hurricane kit over time.
Sloan says those people who can not evacuate without out help can register now by calling 2-1-1.
“Well, our partners at the United Way will take your information and help you be identified that if you’re in a surge zone that’s being evacuated a coordinating that transportation to one of our hubs, which will then take you to one of our sister city shelter locations as part of the state plan for sheltering.”
It is important that you register with 2-1-1 every year.? Because people may not be at the same address from one year to the next the county purges its 2-1-1 list yearly.
The bottom line, says Sloan, is being prepared and keeping informed before, during and after a hurricane.
For additional information, visit www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html for a complete emergency checklist.