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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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Hurricane Preparedness

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Are you ready?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hurricane Season 2011 tips and advice

We are now almost 2 months into hurricane season and with the threat of a tropical storm hitting the Texas coast within the next 48 hours, it's more important than ever to be prepared. Check out the information below to learn about what you can do to prepare.

Be ready now, don't delay!

As the Boy Scout motto says "Be Prepared" and it's never too early to be ready in case disaster strikes. It's not just about preparing an emergency kit, you also need to prepare your family by way of taking care of important papers, refilling necessary prescriptions, designating a meeting place in case of separation and many other things. It's important, in the case of a hurricane, to have enough supplies and fresh water to last your family for a full 72 hours.

You should be ready by:

  • Locating a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determining escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
  • Having an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Making a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Posting emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Checking your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stocking non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Using a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Taking First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Preparing for emergencies doesn’t have to be expensive. Think ahead and buy small quantities at a time to stock for the future.

Make a list of foods that:

  • Have a long shelf-life and are non-perishable
  • You and your family like
  • Don’t require cooking
  • Can be easily stored
  • Keep the list in your wallet or purse and pick up a few items each time you’re shopping.

Hurricane Family Survival Kit 

Items you should consider for your Family Survival Kit include:

  • Water – 3 gallons per day per person
  • Battery Operated Radio
  • Bleach
  • Candles and matches or lighter
  • Duct Tape
  • Emergency cooking supplies
  • Extra batteries
  • Extension cores – heavy duty
  • Blankets/Pillows
  • Rain Gear and sturdy shoes
  • Pet food
  • Extra medications
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First Aid kit
  • Toys, books, games
  • Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Toiletries
  • Manual can opener
  • Pet care items
  • Ready to eat canned and prepared food
  • Valuable papers
  • Valid drivers’ license
  • Cash

Whether or not to evacuate depends on your area, the authorities and your personal concerns. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should monitor TV or radio news reports for information or official instructions as they become available. If you're specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.

What’s in your First Aid Kit?
A well stocked Hurricane Survival Kit includes a first aid kit. Take a minute to check your family’s first aid kit and note any depleted items. Don’t have a first aid kit? It's not too late to build one.

Items you should consider for building a first aid kit:

  • (20) Adhesive bandages (various sizes)
  • (1) conforming roller gauze bandage
  • (2) 3” x 3” sterile gauze pads
  • (1) 3” cohesive bandage
  • (6) antiseptic wipes
  • 2” width adhesive tape
  • Cold pack
  • Tweezers
  • First Aid manual
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Laxatives
  • (1) 5” x 9” sterile dressing
  • (2) triangle bandages
  • (2) 4” x 4” sterile gauze pads
  • (2) antibacterial hand-wipe packages
  • (2) pair non-latex gloves
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Small, personal scissors
  • CPR breathing face shield
  • Aspirin or pain reliever
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)

Water, Water Anywhere?

Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person. Store a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation and sanitation).  Store water in plastic containers such as large soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and strenuous activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and people who are sick will also need more.

You can find more valuable information on the Red Cross website *.

* Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. The link will open in a new window.



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