Red Cross Urges Residents to Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts tomorrow and Red Cross officials here in Housotn are urging residents to have emergency plans in place before a storm heads our way. Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports.

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Greater Houston Area American Red Cross CEO Davis Henderson is the kind of person who's concerned about things like this, whether people here are ready for a potential disaster. He's most worried about whether residents have emergency supplies on hand, things like non-perishable food and enough water.

"One gallon, per person, per day. Now that's a lot of water. So you have to go ahead of the schedule and do it now while the sky is blue. Foods. Get preserved foods that you can keep without refrigeration. Then your medications, your documents. Keep them all in a water-tight container."

Because the Gulf Coast avoided a major hurricane last year, Henderson says many disaster kits may now be out of date.

"It may be sitting in the garage. It may be sitting in the laundry room. There are certain things that don't have expiration dates. You got your documents together, they're still good. If you've got certain other things together, batteries that haven't been used, they're still good. Your food, you need to make sure that they're up to date and you have a three day supply of food. It's very good to go to that kit at this point and make sure it's renewed and refreshed."

Henderson says many families haven't agreed on an evacuation route or where they'll end up in the event of a hurricane. He says now is the time to discuss those things.

"If you are going to have to evacuate, now what route you're going to take. Are you going out 59 to the Lufkin area? Are you going out 45 to Huntsville? Are you going out 290 to the Bryan-College Station area? Make a plan now with your family."

He also recommends families evacuate in one vehicle instead of clogging evacuation routes with two or three cars.

"One of the lessons learned from the Rita evacuation was a number of families evacuated with two vehicles and pulled trailers behind. Please plan to evacuate in one vehicle so we keep the traffic on the highway to a minimum."

You can find a link to the American Red Cross website on our website, KUHF.org.

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