National Preparedness Month is in September, but we’re getting a head start by promoting the “Ready or Not” campaign, which was launched by the Texas Department of Health Services on July 8th.   This yearlong project will focus on being sure that Texans are prepared for floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or any other natural disaster that may occur.  Each state probably has excellent disaster plans, but hopefully, we can share ideas that will help ensure that your entire family will be prepared. 

Take the time to locate important records such as names and phone numbers of your family physician, pharmacy, and your veterinarian or kennel that cares for your pets.  You need to place those documents, as well as your insurance information, social security, and other records in a plastic bag that can be easily accessed if you need to evacuate your home.  List out-of-town contacts, too.  Take a moment to also think about what you would grab, if you had to leave in a hurry, of course, including your pets.

You and your family should sit down and talk about what you will do, and where you will meet, in case your cell phones don’t work.  Think about where each one is during the biggest part of the day, and have phone numbers for work, school, and daycare.  Find out if your child’s school or daycare facilities have site-specific emergency plans and familiarize yourself with them.  

Stay tuned to your news or NOAA weather service.  If you are advised to evacuate, do so.  Families could plan to check on neighbors that they know may not be able to follow these rules if they are physically unable to get to safety.  

Supplies are a big priority.  Keeping a supply kit of many of these items in your car is a good plan:

  • Three-day supply of water, and non-perishable foods
  • Flashlight
  • Hand-operated can opener
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils
  • First Aid Kit
  • Respirators (N-95)
  • Personal Hygiene Items
  • Garbage Bags
  • Prescription Medications
  • Cell Phone
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Maps
  • Photo in case you are separated
  • Pet needs 

We never know when disaster will strike.  Being prepared is the best way to be safe and survive.