Source: AgriLife Today
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named May 15-21 National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is taking this opportunity to remind Texans to protect their homes, businesses, farms and ranches.
“Hurricane season in the Atlantic and the Caribbean begins around June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30,”said Dr. Andy Vestal, AgriLife Extension specialist in emergency management in College Station. “It’s nearly impossible to know if a hurricane is approaching any sooner than 5 to 7 days out, so it’s vital that people, especially those in coastal areas, take the time to prepare well in advance.”
Vestal said one way people can prepare for disaster is to be informed by reading and following the advice in preparedness publications available through the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network website, Texas EDEN at texashelp.tamu.edu and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Bookstore at www.agrilifebookstore.org.
“The Texas EDEN and bookstore websites have additional information on disaster preparation and recovery, most of which is free,” Vestal said. “There are also E-book format downloads available for mobile devices.”
He said disaster preparedness and recovery materials offered through AgriLife Extension contain useful information provided by the agency and other Texas A&M University System experts, as well as experts from state and federal agencies and the national land-grant university Extension system.
Vestal 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 making a disaster plan and preparing a disaster kit.
“Special considerations in this five-page publication include keeping food safe to eat, sheltering in place and how to discuss a disaster with children,” said Joyce Cavanagh, an AgriLife Extension family development and resource management specialist in College Station and one of the publication’s authors.
She said a second publication, Farmers and Ranchers, Get Ready! Protect Your Operation Before, During and After a Disaster, provides agricultural producers with information needed to prepare for weather-related and other emergencies by creating a disaster plan. Its contents address the steps farmers and ranchers need to take to protect people, animals, crops, machinery and other assets.
Cavanagh said one of the main things Texans should consider in preparing for a hurricane or other disaster is having an emergency kit for the home, office and each vehicle. She said an emergency kit should contain enough supplies to take care of immediate family members for at least three days.
“Some essential 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,” she said.
Cavanagh said information on preparing for an emergency, including suggested items for the kit, can be found in the Texans, Get Ready! publication, as well as the agency’s Preparing for the Unexpected publication, which also can be found on the AgriLife Extension bookstore and Texas EDEN websites.
She also noted the need to prepare a “grab-and-go” box containing important documents and financial records in the event of an emergency situation.
“The AgriLife Extension publication EFCS-005, Personal and Family Financial Records Inventory, available on the Bookstore website, will provide guidance for a handy way to consolidate personal and family financial information,” she said.
Both Vestal and Cavanagh said AgriLife Extension supports the efforts of National Hurricane Preparedness Week and hope Texans will make the most of this time to think about preparing themselves for the possibility of a hurricane or other disaster.
More information can be found by connecting with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/agrilifeextension, Twitter at https://twitter.com/txextension/ or Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/txextension/disaster-preparedness/
Source: AgriLife Today