Time for Spring Emergency Preparedness

Spring is here and that means unsettled weather! Here in Texas, we’ve already had our fair share of catastrophic weather in the San Antonio and Houston areas. Tis the season of flooding, tornados, hail, and late season snow storms. We are used to seeing the effects of these events on TV, but sometimes it is hard to imagine our lives being disrupted and not being able to go about our everyday activities as usual. The things we see on TV are happening to others and could never happen to us, right?

Fortunately, there are easy things you can start doing right now to prepare for severe weather. It is important to assess what types of weather events you should have an emergency plan for. Here in South Texas, being held hostage in our homes during a blizzard is very unlikely to happen, but we have to be ready for floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Everyone should have a customized plan and emergency essentials in place to fit their needs.

Our Preparedness Expert, Grace, shares a few tips she and her family use for basic readiness. Her advice will help make things a little easier no matter what situation you’re facing.

Have a plan, but be prepared to change it as needed.
We live out in the country and go through 3 low water crossings to get to town. So for us, having a little extra is just part of living. One of my dear friends was affected by the recent floods in East Texas. They also live in a rural area, and their road was washed out leaving them stranded at home, but they are thankfully safe. She said this experience has been an eye opener for her to see what adjustments she needs to make in her family’s preparedness plan.

East Texas Flood
Photos by E. Huber

Don’t depend on outside help.
Dealing with the effects of a weather disaster is certainly stressful, but you can at least have some emergency essentials on hand so you don’t have to worry about basic supplies. If you think the government will come to your rescue, you might be waiting for a while. It will take them at least 3 days to get to you, and I use that 3 days very loosely. It usually takes longer for them to mobilize. Let’s not get all panicky and think this is a dooms day post – it’s not! I am about being practical. Here are just a few supply tips that my family has implemented that you can do today to be ready for tomorrow.

1. When you go to the store, pick up a few extra cans of your favorite canned goods. For my family, its chili. Be sure to have a manual can opener in case you lose power so you can open the cans.
2. Get a case or 2 of drinking water.
3. It’s always nice to have some comfort food available in a stressful situation. Some examples might be chips, candy, sunflower seeds, assorted nuts, etc.
4. Think about power alternatives. Make sure you have extra propane or an alternative fuel to cook such as a camp stove, burner stove, charcoal, etc.
5. Make sure you store water, not only to drink, but to use for being able to flush your toilets! I use bleach bottles to store my extra water. When the bleach bottle is empty, I fill it with water. Make sure you use unscented bleach bottles. We also have a water storage tank attached to our well.

Everyone is at varying degrees of preparedness, but having a plan and putting that plan in to action is the first step in the right direction! Are you ready for the next big storm? What are your favorite preparedness tips?

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