Thursday, June 7, the Hardin County Prepares expo brought together dozens of local agencies and businesses for an evening of information sharing on emergency readiness.
Hundreds of county residents packed the Kountze Intermediate School cafeteria to learn about disaster planning.
Fires, floods, post-disaster recovery….do you have a plan of action before the worst happens?
There are so many questions, and “we just want everybody to know that if they have any questions (about preparedness) they can contact us,” Judge Wayne McDaniel said.
And, the process of recovery? Hardin County Strong, the long-term disaster recovery agency, brought Case Managers to the expo to interview folks in need of restoring normalcy to their lives.
“We are here to help families with unmet needs,” Michelle Brewer, Disaster Recovery Director, Hardin County Strong said.
The agency is raising funds and manpower, looking for volunteers enlisting people to help those still in need of recovery. Brewer directs residents to watch the Hardin County Strong Facebook page for current information.
Hardin County Strong can be reached at (409) 241-9700 and the Hardin County Emergency Management Coordinator Aaron Tupper at (409) 246-5119.
Plan for the worst say emergency managers, look beyond the past and plan for the next challenge. In an evacuation disaster, the Texas Department of Public Safety has a 2018 download has a 2018 Inland Evacuation Map of SETX at https://www.dps.texas.gov/.
DPS with STEAR, the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry, is also for people with disabilities, medical assistance, or limited mobility to register before an emergency occurs. People can voluntarily register with STEAR at stear.dps.texas.gov.
Police departments in Silsbee, Kountze, Sour Lake, and Lumberton and Hardin County Sheriff’s Department have Safe Kids ID Kits. Take a moment to “do a photo and a fingerprint put it in a safe place and, if it’s every needed, give it to the officer,” Sheriff Mark Davis said. The Hardin County Ag Extension, (409) 246-5128, can assist ranchers to plan for livestock evacuation if needed.
In any disaster, Altus Emergency Center, (409) 755-2273, in Lumberton, is available “for any type of emergency just get there,” Garrett Syphrett, VP of Operations said, adding it has its own power source. Of course, call 911 in an emergency Syphrett says, but Altus is there to help people with medical needs in a pinch.
Much of disaster preparedness is up to the individual. Policies like homeowners or renters insurance and flood insurance have to be enrolled before a crisis happens. Take photographs or videos of belongings and place them in a safe place along with the policies.
A basic disaster kit has a battery operated radio, a flashlight, batteries, food and water, a first aid kit, any medications, clothing and blankets, hand sanitizer, a fire extinguisher, matches in a waterproof container, a toolkit, a rope, and duct tape.
Thursday’s expo was sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce from Lumberton, Sour Lake, and Silsbee, along with the Hardin County Emergency Management Agency, and Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel.