This year, National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 5-11, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is urging Texans to prepare homes, businesses, farms and ranches for a hurricane or other disaster.
“Hurricane season in the Atlantic and the Caribbean begins around June 1 and typically lasts through Nov. 30,” said Dr. Monty Dozier, AgriLife Extension special assistant for Rebuild Texas, College Station. “It’s nearly impossible to know if a hurricane is approaching any sooner than five to seven days out, so it’s vital that people, especially those in coastal areas, take the time to prepare well in advance.”
Dozier said Texans can begin to prepare for a hurricane by following the advice provided in disaster and emergency preparedness publications available through the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network website, Texas EDEN, at texashelp. tamu.edu. Additional information on disaster preparation is available through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Bookstore at www.agrilifebookstore.org/.
“There are also e-book format downloads available for mobile devices,” he said.
Dozier said one of these publications, “Texans, Get Ready! Be Prepared to Survive a Disaster,” explains how to protect a household during and immediately after a catastrophe by developing and practicing a family emergency plan along with preparing disaster kits for the home, office and each vehicle.
“These kits should contain enough supplies to take care of immediate family members for at least three days,” he said.
Dozier said kit contents include bottled water, non-perishable foods, a hand-operated can opener, mouth/nose protection masks, extra clothing, a first-aid kit, gloves, blankets, toiletries, battery- or hand-powered flashlight, weather radio, spare batteries, garbage bags, medications and anti-bacterial cleaners or wipes.
“It’s also a good idea to prepare a grab-and-go box containing important documents and financial records in the event of an emergency situation,” he added. “The AgriLife Extension publication ‘Personal and Family Financial Records Inventory,’ which is available on the Bookstore website, provides guidance on how to consolidate personal and family financial information.
“There are many steps people can take to prepare for a disaster or emergency, and our AgriLife Extension publications offer some practical and useful guidance on how to prepare,” Dozier said. “We hope Texans and others will make the most of National Hurricane Preparedness Week and use this time to ready themselves and their families.”