AgriLife Extension helping Texans prepare for hurricane season

Variety of hurricane preparation/recovery materials available through Texas EDEN

COLLEGE STATION – In conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 24-30 and other efforts, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is reminding the state’s residents of its many disaster and emergency-related materials available.

“With hurricane season approaching, this is a key time for AgriLife Extension to again make Texas residents aware of these materials,” said Dr. Andy Vestal, AgriLife Extension specialist and expert in disaster preparation and recovery, College Station. “The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, so this is the time to build awareness and promote readiness.”

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service has made many of its emergency and disaster materials avaial;ble in e-book format for mobile device users. With hurricane season approaching, the agency is hoping Texans will take time now to download these materials in advance of a natural disaster. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo)

With hurricane season approaching, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is hoping to help inspire Texans, especially those living in coastal areas, to begin to prepare their homes and businesses for the possibility of such a disaster. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

He said AgriLife Extension is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Hurricane Center and other organizations to increase public awareness related to hurricane preparation.

Like FEMA, the hurricane center and other public safety-oriented organizations, Vestal said AgriLife Extension is asking that Texans begin to prepare their families and businesses for possible hurricanes and tropical storms.

“These disaster preparedness and recovery materials provide information on how individuals, families and businesses can prepare for and recover from hurricanes and other disasters and emergencies,” said Dr. Joyce Cavanagh, AgriLife Extension specialist in family development and resource management, College Station.

“They contain practical, useful information provided by AgriLife Extension and other Texas A&M University System experts, as well as experts from state and federal agencies and from throughout the national land-grant university Extension system,” Cavanagh said. “Many of those throughout the state affected by the recent flooding, such as in the Houston area, can also benefit from the disaster recovery materials available on the site.”

Cavanagh said family emergency and disaster preparedness, including financial preparedness, is particularly important, adding that materials addressing those issues available through Texas EDEN include:

– “Texas, Get Ready! Be Prepared to Survive and Recover from a Disaster:” This publication helps you protect yourself and your household during and immediately following a catastrophe by showing how to develop a family disaster plan and prepare a disaster kit containing essential items. It shows steps to take to care for yourself and your family without outside help for at least three days. Special considerations include keeping food safe to eat, sheltering in place and discussing disaster preparation with children, as well as what might happen as a result of a disaster. This publication is available in English and Spanish.

–“Preparing Your Evacuation ‘Grab and Go’ Box:” This publication explains the need for an individual and family evacuation plan, as well as suggests contents for an evacuation “to-go” box containing financial and other important documents and vital records during and while recovering from emergency situations.

These publications can be downloaded free from the Texas EDEN website or Texas A&M AgriLife Bookstore website at http://agrilifebookstore.org, she said.

“People should prepare a grab-and-go box containing important financial and personal information, as well as an emergency kit for their home, office and each vehicle,” she said.

Cavanagh said an emergency kit should contain enough supplies to take care of immediate family members for at least three days. Some essential kit contents include bottled water, non-perishable foods, a hand-operated can opener, mouth/nose protection masks, extra clothing, first-aid kit, gloves, blankets, toiletries, battery- or hand-powered flashlight, weather radio, spare batteries, garbage bags, medications and anti-bacterial cleaners or wipes.

She the AgriLife Extension publication “Personal and Family Financial Records Inventory,” available at http://agrilifebookstore.org, will help provide guidance for ways to consolidate personal and family financial information.

Cavanagh said additional useful hurricane preparation and recovery materials are available through the Texas EDEN site. AgriLife Extension disaster and emergency information can also be found through social media at http://www.facebook.com/txeden,  http://twitter.com/txeden and http://pinterest.com/texashelp.

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