State Works To Improve Emergency Preparedness On The South Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/16/08

State Works To Improve Emergency Preparedness On The South Plains

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If disaster strikes here on the South Plains how prepared would you be?  For many, the answer is not at all. But the Texas Department of State Health Services wants to change that through a statewide campaign. 

On Sunday folks shopping at Wal-Mart on 82nd and Milwaukee learned how to plan for a safer tomorrow. It starts with a plan, filling your emergency kit and a few clicks of the mouse.

 91-year-old Louie Edwards survived the Tulia Tornado. "We heard it over the TV and that they were coming in the area this way and to go get cover so we went to the basement" said Edwards. 38-minutes before a devastating tornado tore through Tulia in April of 2007. Residents were warned to seek shelter. However, when disaster strikes every second counts. Therefore, experts say it's important to be prepared.

"The essential document bag is a waterproof bag that allows you to put copies of insurance, medical information, and identification. That way if you do have short notice, say like there was a tornado or wildfire you can just grab it and go," Chris Derida with the Ready or Not? Have a Plan Campaign said.

The Lie family moved to Lubbock about year ago from Southern California, a place known for earthquakes.  "We're not familiar with all this yet. All the natural disasters in this area," Douglas Lie said. So the Lie family is at the states' Ready or Not? Have a Plan campaign booth to learn more.

Jesse Boisse is a program specialist with the Department of State Health Services in Lubbock. "You have tooth paste and Q-Tips, those kinds of items already at home. But this gives you an idea of what you will need to get by for three days," Boisse said.

Boisse says to fill one of the display emergency kits with necessary items it cost him more than $260. "You've got all your camping gear, a fire extinguisher, smoke alarm and smoke detector," Boisse explained.

The state even set up a web site to make it easy for Texans to be proactive. Lori Douglass, with the Ready or Not? Have a Plan campaign says, it helps you to make a plan for loved ones.  "If you were to lose your house, where would you meet with your kids? Do you have pets, disabled elderly nearly by?" Douglass explained.

The State Health Department in Lubbock has also made it easier for you to fill your emergency supply kit. A wish list at Wal-Mart has been set up, listing all the items needed.  The City of Lubbock Health Department has emergency document bags for free at their office. However, that's only while supplies last.

(Click here) to learn more about the Ready or Not? Have a Plan campaign.

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