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As I write these words, Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey continues to wreak a path of destruction through southeast Texas. As we pray and donate help for our fellow Americans , one cannot help but wonder: In such a cataclysmic situation, what would I do?
September is Disaster Preparedness Month, and while we cannot always predict a disaster, there are still some things we can do to protect our selves and our loved ones.
When emergencies happen, our first impulse might be to call 911 on the phone for help. However, during a large scale disaster that affects many people, the emergency phone system can become overwhelmed. One of the first things to learn is how Emergency information will be disseminated in your area, such as through specific TV stations, radio, or local police or fire stations.
Talk with your family about your plan for communication during an emergency. If the telephones are not working, or cell phones are down, often a text message can still be sent and received. Designate a family member locally, and possibly another person out of state, who is able and willing to be the Contact person for the whole family. Choose a location and possible escape routes where family members can find one another in severe circumstances.
An Emergency Kit can be assembled over time, to provide for your needs during an emergency lasting a minimum of three days. This kit can include bottled water, food, and medicines required for each family member-- and don't forget your pets! Also include a First Aid Kit, important documents, and tools such as can openers, radios, flashlights and batteries. Once your kit is assembled, remember to rotate the contents that need to be kept fresh, such as food, water, batteries and the like. Also update emergency contact numbers and remind your family of everything you have done annually.
All this information and much more can be found online at ready.gov . Be prayerful, and be prepared.
--Andrea Winchester firstname.lastname@example.org