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Officials Urge Central Texans Prepare For Natural Disasters
From fires to flash floods and everything in between, no matter what the disaster you need to be prepared. While Central Texas may not be prone hurricanes and earthquakes, there are still plenty of reasons to be ready.
"We're in Central Texas and we're still part of flash flood alley, and tornado alley, and so severe weather can strike at any time,” says Williamson County Emergency Management Services Coordinator Jarred Thomas.
But most of us don't know where to start and what we need to survive for 72 hours. Among the necessary items are:
--a gallon of water per person, per day.
--a three day supply of non-perishable food.
--a flash light and extra batteries and a first aid kit.
These are some of the most obvious items. But what about a whistle to signal for help or a dusk mask to help filter out the contaminated air? Use plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect any open areas of your home and pliers to turn off utilities.
You also need a manual can opener to open your food. While these items will add up, it's a small price to pay to be prepared. Thomas says you also shouldn't wait until the last minute to be prepared.
"It's very important because it takes time to mass resources together to take care of large groups of individuals," he says.
Williamson County residents can stay informed of emergency events in the area by becoming a fan of the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management's Facebook page or following them on twitter @PreparingWilCo.
It's a good idea to put together emergency preparedness supplies in easy-to-carry containers long before you need them, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service. Emergency supply kits will serve you well no matter what kind of emergency or disaster you may face. Use this checklist:
--Extra prescription medications, written copies of prescriptions, other special medical items
--Important documents and records, photo IDs, proof of residence, information you may need to process insurance claims
--Cash (power outages mean banks and ATMs may be unavailable)
--Battery-operated radio and NOAA Weather Radio
--Flashlight with extra batteries
--Phone numbers of family and friends
--3-day supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day
--Coolers for food and ice storage, paper plates, plastic utensils
--Manual can opener, knife, tools, booster cables, fire extinguisher, duct tape, tarp, rope
--Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and extra clothing
--Toilet paper, cleanup supplies, personal hygiene products
--Eyeglasses, sunglasses, hearing aids
--Special supplies needed for babies, older adults or pets
From Texas Department of State Health Services
By Lydia Pantazes