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Be prepared for a storm

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As this year’s hurricane season quickly approaches, I am turning my attention from Washington matters this week as I believe it is important that, along Gulf Coast, we all adequately prepare for any potential storms that could impact our region.

The Texas public safety department has dubbed the week of May 15-21 as Hurricane Preparedness Week. Those seven days can be used to plan what you should do during a hurricane and what supplies you might need to ride out the storm and its aftermath.

The most important thing you should do is stay alert. Be aware of storms headed your way and keep an eye on the weather services as they approach.

As a storm nears, be sure to take inside everything that could be easily picked up by the wind, such as bicycles and lawn furniture. Ensure that all propane tanks are turned off and any outside appliances are unplugged from electricity sockets. It is also useful to ensure that your car has a full tank of gas in the event of an emergency.

As a household, it is necessary to create an evacuation plan and familiarize yourself with your community’s hurricane response plan. Knowledge of the location of local shelters can help during the confusion of a hurricane.

If you must travel somewhere during a storm or soon after it has passed, be cautious of roads that might be flooded or bridges that might be washed out. If an evacuation is ordered, please follow the authorities’ directions as they are trying to keep you safe.

After determining your storm plan, stock up on the supplies needed for its duration. It is essential that everyone present has enough drinking water should you need to remain in your home. The rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days.

In terms of food, it is best to have a three-day supply of non-perishables so that, in the event of a power outage, your food will remain safe to eat. Other things that will come in handy include flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit, extra cash, baby supplies, pet supplies and extra cell-phone chargers that do not plug into the wall.

I’m very happy to announce that, during Hurricane Preparedness Week, the Houston-Galveston area will be hosting a free family preparedness workshop from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday, May 21, at Houston’s George R Brown convention center. For more information, go online to hurricaneworkshop.com.

Let’s stay safe this hurricane season by being prepared for whatever the storms throw at us!

Randy Weber is the US representative for the 14th district of Texas, which covers Brazoria, Galveston and Jefferson counties.

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