With Gustav Threatening Gulf Coast, Dhs Urges Residents To Prepare, Make Emergency Plans

August 28, 2008

taken from Incaseofemergencyblog.com

Earlier today, I was at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters in Washington for a briefing on the Department’s plans for September’s National Preparedness Month. I’ll have more on Preparedness Month activities in the days to come. But DHS officials were also busy planning for something that might occur even before August ends: Tropical Storm Gustav could turn into a major hurricane and threaten the Gulf Coast, possibly even New Orleans, just days after the third anniversary of Katrina. DHS and FEMA are now actively urging Gulf Coast residents to prepare for the potential hurricane, which was the central message of a DHS press release I was given this afternoon by DHS spokesman Russ Knocke: As Tropical Storm Gustav makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign (www.ready.gov) reminds Gulf Coast region residents about the importance of taking precautionary measures to prepare for an emergency situation or evacuation before Gustav approaches our shores. Specifically, the Ready Campaign encourages citizens to get an emergency supply kit, make an emergency plan, and to be informed about what to do if Tropical Storm Gustav gains strength, turns into a hurricane, and heads in their direction. “Regardless of its predicted path, it is important for citizens in the Gulf Coast region to listen to what their local officials are advising over the course of the next few days and to take these simple steps to prepare,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “If residents make individual and family preparations, they make it easier for first responders to focus on people who can’t help themselves and need help first.” Ready recommends having a three-day supply of water for each individual in your family, including pets, along with non-perishable food, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries and a flashlight. It is also important to consider your family’s unique needs such as medication and any important documents like property insurance. Additionally, pet owners should check which shelters in the area will take animals in case of evacuation. Ready’s Web site, www.ready.gov, is a free resource where individuals can find an emergency supply checklist, download an emergency plan and link to local information. Ready also has resources and tools available on its Web site to help business owners ensure their business plans stay up and running, talk to their employees and protect their assets. For information in Spanish visit www.listo.gov. Individuals can also call 1-800-BE-READY or 1-888-SE-LISTO for more emergency preparedness information.

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