4 steps to being prepared for a hurricane

May 28, 2010 at 12:28 a.m.

Four steps to being prepared for a hurricane:

1. Get informed

Contact your local emergency management office or local Red Cross to gather information you will need. The number for the local Red Cross is 361-573-2671.

Learn about community response plans, evacuation plans and designated emergency shelters.

2. Make a plan

Meet with family members to discuss the plan.

Choose an out-of-town contact. Following a disaster, family members should call this person and tell them where they are.

Decide where to meet in case you should be separated.

Complete a family communication plan, which includes contact information for family members, work and school. A sample form for recording this information can be found at www.ready.gov or at www.redcross.org/contactcard.

Plan for those with disabilities and for your pets.

Make a record of your possessions to help you claim reimbursement in case of loss or damage. Also make sure to keep vital family records and other important documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, etc.) in a safe place.

Let your family know you are safe. If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website at www.redcross.org/safeandwell to let your family and friends know about your welfare. If you don't have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.

3. Assemble a disaster supplies kit

These kits should be stored in portable containers as close as possible to the exit door. The kit should include:

Three-day supply of nonperishable food, water and manual can opener

Portable battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

Sanitation and hygiene items

Extra clothing and blankets

Cash and coins

Photocopies of identification and credit cards

Special needs items such as prescription medication, eye glasses, contact lens solution, etc.

Tools, pet supplies, a map of the local area and other items to meet the needs of your family.

4. Maintain your plan

Review your plan every six months and quiz your family about what to do.

Check food supplies for expiration dates and replace if needed.



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