In September our thought focus on football, tailgating, back to school event and getting ready for fall activities. At extension our programing has turned to 4-H clubs and projects starting, kick off events for 4-H, and programing. My program for the month is Preparing for Emergency and Food Safety. If you wait until an emergency happens it is too late to be prepared. You’ll always be glad you took the time to improve your family’s safety. Create a communication plan. Teach your child one parent’s cell-phone number or a good contact number. Starting at around age five, kids are developmentally ready to memorize a seven- or 10-digit number. Practice with your child and turn the phone number into a song.
Designate an out-ofstate contact. This will be a resource and point person for your family to call.
Choose a location other than your home where your family can meet. Your meeting place might be a local park, school, or shelter. Walk to the site with your child so he knows exactly how to get there.
Designate a trusted friend or family member who can pick up your kid at child care or school if you are unable to get there in a disaster situation. Be sure that you give official permission to release your child to that person.
Make a card with your plan for each adult’s wallet. Include contact names, your emergency location, and the out-of-state contact number. Put a copy in your school-age child’s backpack, and discuss the plan with your kids.
Inform caregivers and nearby relatives of your plan. Be sure to give a copy of your plan to your child’s teacher. Write a letter for your child to have in case of an emergency and leave it with child care or school.
If you’re not good at texting, improve your skills. When cell phone signal strength goes down, texting often still works because it uses less bandwidth and network capacity.
If you can afford a premade, three-day emergency kit, buy it. Order online from the American Red Cross. Kits have food, water, light sticks, a poncho, a breathing mask, and other supplies. It’s only enough for one person, and it won’t contain everything I suggest below, but it’s a good start.
Purchase 20-gallon plastic containers with lids to store all your emergency gear. If you have limited space, consider buying containers that fit under your bed.
Keep a list taped to the top of each box in your emergency kit that details which items need to be replenished, or which info needs updating, and when. Put a reminder in your phone or on your family calendar that tells you to check your refresh card and revise your kit as needed.
Stash some cash. I suggest you have $150 or more ready in case of emergency.
Determine where to keep the kit. A garage or a lower level near a door is ideal. If you live in an apartment, maybe there’s a common area with storage that you can use. Look into how at-risk your own area may be. Contact your local fire department and school to inquire about specific threats to your neighborhood. If you have natural gas, learn how to turn off the gas where it enters your home. Purchase a 12-inch adjustable wrench or pliers to turn the valve. Then leave the tool at the site of the gas valve on the outside of your house, and add another to your emergency kit. Familiarize yourself with the main water shut-off valve in your home. Gather enough supplies to get your family through three days.
Be sure to have three gallons per person and per animal in your home.
Buy canned, mostly high-calorie foods. Good choices are chili, tuna, veggies, and soup, as well as peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, cereal bars, and comfort foods like chocolate or candy. You’ll also want powdered formula for babies and boxed milk for toddlers, and food for your pet.
Standard first aid kits usually cost around $25. You may need to add a couple pairs of gloves, and gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment.
Have one complete outfit for each person, including sturdy shoes, a hat, and gloves.
Get a seven-day supply of any prescription you or your child is taking. If your child is on an important daily med, ask your doctor for a one-week-supply prescription to fill for your kit. Add the expiration date of meds to your refresh card.
Include sunscreen, a manual can opener, waterproof matches, fire extinguisher, flashlights, batteries, utility knife, cordless phone, chlorine bleach, garbage bags, and duct tape.
Fill a waterproof bag with a copy of important documents including passports, bank-account and creditcard numbers, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and wills. You’ll want to protect them or take them with you if evacuation is necessary.
If you have questions or would like to share some of your tips for working and living in Pecos County with our readers, call me at the Pecos County AgriLife Extension Services, 432-336-2541.
The Fort Stockton volleyball team will host Permian today with the varsity and freshman team sche
Week 1: Class 4A-2 District I Scoreboard
The start time for Friday’s game at Alpine will be at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.
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