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General Hurricane Preparedness

June 24th, 2010  06:00

Hurricane Preparedness

It is time to get your family and personal plans in order for the Hurricane season.

Family evacuation plans should include answers to questions such as:

· Where are they going? Have a preplanned destination.

· How are they getting there? Are they taking public transit? Are they driving or are you taking them and having to return to work?

· Have you provided your supervisor with contact phone numbers while you and/or your family are evacuated? It is important for your supervisor to have updated contact information.

· What items do they need to evacuate with? Snacks, ice chest, food, water, games, cell phone charger, GPS, etc.

· Are there pets to be considered? If you are going to a shelter, they require your pets to be in a pet carrier, to have a leash or a harness and the prefer vaccination records. You should also carry food and water in your vehicle for your pet.

· When should they actually leave? To beat the traffic, leaving prior to the call for a mandatory evacuation is always a good idea.

· Do they know the predesignated evacuation routes and do you have a map? Maps are available at www.setinfo.org. or any of your local TV stations.

· Are the vehicles up to date on maintenance? Make sure that it can make the trip.

· Are the vehicles fueled? The state will move fuel assets to the evacuation area’s and then along the evacuation routes. During the Hurricane season, you should always maintain at least a ½ tank of fuel. Some service stations will be closed and the pumps will only accept cash cards or credit cards.

· Do they have enough medication to last at least 2 weeks? Refill medications prior to leaving. If they are going to require a Doctors order, call them in advance. Doctors may not be available by phone in the weeks following a hurricane.

· Do they have cash and/or credit cards? Extra money may be need for unexpected expenses.

· Did they pack enough clothing for a week? These items can be washed and worn again if evacuees are forced to stay gone longer.

· Did they pack all important documents including birth certificates, medical records, insurance information, photo’s, etc.? These can be placed into a large container and kept in one location. That would make it easier to grab and go in case an evacuation is ordered.

· Do you have plans to secure your home including plywood on windows, moving boats and additional vehicles to safety, moving patio furniture, BBQ grills, securing trampolines, etc.? Securing your items may prevent damage to your property as well as others.

· Do you have photo’s and video’s of your home, inside and out for insurance purposes? If damage does occur due to the storm, you will have video documentation of pre-damage condition.

· Do you have serial numbers of all appliances and electronics logged? If damage or theft occurs, you should have a record of your belongings.

Remember, plan ahead. If you and/or your family plan to stay at home during an evacuation order, keep in mind that you need to be capable of sustaining yourself and your loved ones for 5 – 7 days. If a disastrous storm strikes Beaumont, outside assistance in the form of food, drink and medical may not arrive for days. We could be without water and sewer services as well as electricity for an extended period of time. You and your family should plan on stocking the following:

· Nonperishable foods

· Water or hydrating drinks such as salt-based liquids

· Medications

· First aid kits

· Fuel

· Generators

· Hygiene products

· Batteries

· Battery operated radio’s

· Flashlights

Much of this information and more can be obtained at www.cityofbeaumont.com. Don’t wait to make your plans. Sit with your family and discuss these plans. It is in the best interest of you and your family to plan on leaving town should and evacuation be ordered. If you are a critical employee who is required to stay, make sure that your plans are in order and carried out before you are called to your mandatory duty. To have a plan in place prior to a disaster makes it easier on you and your family.

www.setinfo.org is website designed to keep Southeast Texans informed should a disaster such as a Hurricane occur. All press releases from Orange, Hardin and Jefferson County agencies are posted to this site. If you or your loved ones are evacuated, the site will keep you updated. The evacuation order along with the rescind order will be posted there as well.

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