Friday, September 11, 2009

National Preparedness Month

Hurricane Ike - September 2008 National Weather Service Photo

Along with all the other seasonal activities, September is National Preparedness Month. Unfortunately, we’ve gained quite a bit of recent experience dealing with disasters and their consequences for life and property.

While disaster can strike any month of the year, the memory of Hurricane Ike, which struck the Gulf Coast one year ago this month, reminds us this is a perfect time to get prepared. Preparedness is the key to providing safety, security and confidence for you and your family during difficult times.

The Texas Engineering Extension Service has helped people around the world prepare for disaster for decades, and, throughout September, we are focusing on how we can personally prepare for the unexpected.

A visit to details three important steps we can take to be prepared, so we’re going to tackle one step per week during September.

1 - Get a Basic Emergency Supply Kit

The first items in the kit support basics for human survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Then, we add further supplies for communication and comfort.

Purchasing the supplies for a basic kit costs about $130, and we have examples of’s emergency supply kit at the Henry D. Smith Operations Complex, the Emergency Operations Training Center, Riverside Building #7900 and the John B. Connally Building. Go by and check them out.
Use common sense. Canned goods require a can opener and most electronics require batteries. Cars and generators don’t run well without fuel. Assess each item to make sure you have both an adequate supply, and the ancillary tools necessary to make the items functional.

Think. It’s important that everyone THINK about what’s essential for them, and incorporate those items into their emergency kit.

Ask yourself questions. Are there any items not listed in the kit that you feel are important? Where is the best place to store the emergency kit? We welcome your comments and suggestions!

Win a Basic Emergency Supply Kit - Four lucky employees will get to take a Basic Emergency Supply Kit home at the end of the month. To register, carefully read the e-mail you should’ve already received from Laura Shehan, or complete AWR-160, Terrorism Awareness for Emergency Responders, which found on

Next Thursday, we’ll visit about the importance of making a plan, so that you and your family can find each other when the unexpected strikes.

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