September is National Preparedness Month, the perfect time to create an emergency plan for your family. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) and the Ready Campaign have information that can help you get started. HCOHSEM encourages everyone to have an emergency supplies kit, make a plan, and stay informed.
"Emergencies will happen, but taking action now can help us minimize the impact they will have on our lives," said Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Sloan. "This is why we promote preparedness year round."
Your emergency supplies kit should have enough non-perishable food and water to last seven to ten days. Other essential items to include:
- Copies of important documents, including identification and insurance policies - First-aid kit - NOAA weather radio and batteries - Mobile phone and charger - Prescription medicines - Sleeping bag and blankets - Clothing and shoes - Personal hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and deodorant - Essential supplies for infants and medically fragile family members - Cash and checkbook - Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, crates and vaccination records
"People with access and functional needs may be especially vulnerable during and after emergencies," added Sloan. "Planning ahead will make it easier to get the support they need."
If you live in an evacuation zone, locate recommended evacuation routes and follow instructions from local authorities. To determine if your home is located in an evacuation zone, check the Zip Zone Evacuation Map.
It is very important to stay informed before, during and after a disaster. Sign up to receive emergency alerts at www.readyharris.org and closely monitor local news media. Officials will provide information about current conditions, evacuations and re-entry.