Unfortunately, we've already seen the devastating effects of a wildfire in our area this season. We will, most likely, have to deal with other natural disasters and emergencies before the summer wraps up. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service wants you to be prepared.
1. Make a family plan. Make a plan that fits your family's needs. Make sure all family members know which escape routes to use (in your house and your neighborhood), how you will stay in communication with each other and with emergency personnel, how to safely shut-off the utilities and who will do this, have all important documents (insurance papers, identification cards, etc) and who will care for your animals. Having a plan for all of these will go a long way in helping you be prepared.
2. Create a disaster supply kit. This kit is a collection of basic necessities that members of a household will need during and immediately after a disaster. Items that might be included in this pack are: water, food, clean air items, extra clothing, first aid kit, emergency items and special needs items (baby items, medication, etc.).
3. Deciding to stay or go. You may be faced with the decision to evacuate or shelter-in-place. Evacuation means moving from an unsafe place to a safe place in a hurry. Sheltering-in-place is staying exactly where you are during a disaster; it may be at home, school, work or a friends house.
4. Get involved. Becoming involved with your community's disaster response efforts can help make your home, community and state a safer place to live. You can become involved by being aware of your surroundings, reporting suspicious activity and volunteering your time.
5. Discuss a disaster with your children. During emergencies, children often feel afraid, anxious, confused and worried. To help give them a sense of comfort and security, discuss the disaster with them. Help them understand what could happen and what to do in case of emergency.
Each one of these components is an important part of preparing for disaster. For more information, you can visit texashelp.tamu.edu
or call your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office. Prepare today, for tomorrow!