Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare: September is National Emergency Preparedness Month in Hays County
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – September is National Preparedness Month – a great time to make sure you and your loved ones are disaster ready – and the Hays County Commissioners Court has issued a proclamation encouraging residents to do all they can for their families’ safety.
“Government stands ready to assist citizens in time of disaster,” said Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D. “But, our citizens must take personal responsibility to ensure they are as prepared as they can be.”
According to the proclamation, “investing in the preparedness of ourselves, our families, businesses and communities can reduce fatalities and economic devastation in our communities and in our nation.”
“Throughout Central Texas, at any time of the year, we could be faced with many different types of disasters, both natural and manmade,” said Hays County Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith. “Wildfires, tornadoes, flash floods and chemical spills are just some of the hazards that threaten our communities. We are currently in the middle of hurricane season, and August and September are two of the most active times for these storms. Central Texas can face serious weather issues as well as an influx of traffic should a hurricane approach the Texas coast. Hays and other Central Texas counties are sheltering sites for coastal evacuations, and past hurricanes and tropical storms have caused torrential rains and tornadoes in our area.”
How can anyone prepare for the possibility of these different disasters? Take practical steps, so that you are informed and ready for events beyond your control:
- Stay informed. Monitor news reports for emergency information. Remember that there may be no electricity during a disaster, so a hand-crank radio is recommended. For major emergency information, visit www.haysinformed.com, where officials post issues affecting County residents and visitors throughout the county.
- Register your cell phone, phone landline, email address or pager at wireless.capcog.org to receive Regional Notification System alerts by voice call, email or text.
- Build a disaster supply kit. Your kit should include enough non-perishable food, one gallon of water per day per person, prescription medication and other supplies, such as flashlights, batteries and a first-aid kit. Keep a list of your family’s disaster supply kit items in the new FEMA app https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
- Make a plan that extends from home to vehicle, workplace and other locations. Remember to have supplies at all locations, and keep vehicle fuel tanks at least half full.
- Prepare your home and decrease the threat of wildfires to you and your property by following the Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide available by choosing Fire Marshal from the Law Enforcement dropdown at www.co.hays.tx.us.
- Get involved – prepare your community for emergencies: Become of member of Hays County CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team). Visit www.HaysCountyCERT.com to learn about the organization and local training options.
- For more information on National Preparedness Month and getting others involved, go to ready.gov/september or ready.gov/es/septiembre and follow #NatlPrep.
Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you doubt the importance of preparedness, view the video, “It Started Like Any Other Day,” at ready.gov/prepare, and join America’s PrepareAthon.
Left to right, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, County Development & Community Services Director Clint Garza, County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Jones, County Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith, Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant encourage Hays County residents to prepare for emergencies and protect their families and community in recognition of September as National Emergency Preparedness Month in Hays County.