Hopefully Your Harvey Scare Has You Better Prepared
By Tom Herrin
The recent scare of staring down the barrel of a major hurricane has likely helped you to sit up and take notice. This isn’t to say that you don’t have a level of preparedness, but it is a great time to do another assessment of just where you can stand improvement in your disaster planning. You have to ask yourself if you had sufficient supplies and a suitable evacuation plan. For so many people, that was not the case. Many people try to brace themselves for the storm surge, but the real surprise for some has been the amount of water that collected upstream with no place to go but down. I recently worked in Port Arthur helping to tear out sheetrock. One of the home owners there had to be rescued by the coast guard. They had never flooded before.
Basic Survival May Be Dependent On A Good Kit
Whether people are stranded in their homes or forced to evacuate, supplies are needed that can help them get by for a few days minimum with no services. If they have no power, they definitely need food that does not require cooking to eat. Bottled water is a basic necessity that must last a few days and be used sparingly. Everyone should have basic first aid supplies and some copies of important documents. If all of this can be packed in something that can be picked up and carried out by hand quickly, evacuation can be less painful. Making decisions ahead of time can save time and lives.
Be Sure Everyone Knows The Best Sources Of Information
There are plenty of reliable sources when it comes to forecasts and emergency information. Every family member should know where to tune to receive this information. They should be versed in how to follow the instructions given without delay. Many weather radios and dedicated channels provide life-saving information that can be considered reliable.
Communication May Be Difficult
Family members should be prepared for power shortages and communication problems. Everyone should have phone numbers and email addresses of family members and community resources that can help. Since communication may be cut off, they should know where they can go for safety. Most shelters keep a list of people there so that family members may be reunited. If you came through Harvey relatively unscathed, great. If not, hopefully you and your family suffered no serious injury. We can all learn from our experiences. Now is a time to make improvements on any plans so that we are more prepared next time.
Also important is being in good health to withstand the turmoil your life will be in. Don't take your health for granted, either.
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