Are You Prepared?
Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th, are you prepared in the event of hurricane or other natural disaster? Living in Houston and other cities in the Gulf of Mexico, it's important to have a preparedness plan and to know when to put it into place.
Of course your home or townhouse has likely been built to withstand many typical weather events like strong winds and rains, hurricanes are another story and plans should be put into place to ensure your safety.
In addition to having a plan in place in the event of an emergency, it's also important to have an emergency kit ready to grab at a moment's notice.
Making an Emergency Plan
Each family is different so each plan is different. There are many online resources to help guide in creating a plan, but you know your family best. If you have someone with special needs in your family you'll need to make specific accommodations to your plan for those needs. With that in mind, the following is a great place to start when it comes to having a preparedness plan.
Important Phone Numbers
Make sure everyone in the household has everyone's phone number not only stored on their cell phones, but memorized as well. Cell phones get lost and batteries die - you may not have access to your contact list.
Make a contact list and keep it in your emergency kit. Make sure children know the full names of their parents.
Shelter in Place
Determine the safest room in the home for sheltering in place. This might be a bathroom, safe room or other area that is away from windows.
Determine escape routes out of each room and practice getting out of them.
You never know when an emergency is going to happen, and not everyone will be home when it does. Talk with family members and have a meeting place determined in the event that not everyone is home, or something happens to the home. This could be a relative's home, a school, public library etc.
Preparing Your Home for Emergency
Make sure your home has the proper safety equipment like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and working fire extinguishers.
It's important to know how the fire extinguisher works. Teach children how to use the fire extinguisher and keep it in the same spots throughout the house. Learn CPR and basic first aid skills. Having a book on hand with instructions is helpful as power might be out and it won't be possible to search online.
Know how and where to turn off gas, electricity and water.
Keep important documents in a safe or safe deposit box at a different location. Keep photos and other sentimental items in fire safe and water safe containers or in safe deposit boxes.
Practice fire drills as well as other disaster drills each month so everyone knows what to do and feels as comfortable as possible with the plan. The more you practice, especially with children, the less likely everyone will be to panic.
Every family should have a Go-Bag and they're pretty easy to put together. You can even buy them ready-made online. You'll want to use a sturdy bag or backpack. A backpack with wheels would be optimal.
Phone chargers, batteries, weather radio, bottled water, water filtration unit, food such as granola bars and freeze dried food packets, whistle, lighter, flashlight, medications, toothpaste, toothbrushes, wet wipes, toilet paper, mylar blankets, everything tool like a Swiss Army Knife.
You never know when a disaster will strike, being prepared reduces fear and can be the difference between life and death.