Be Prepared For Future Disasters


NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -Severe weather forecasts are issued year-round for
weather conditions in Arkansas.  There are no specific seasons, either.
Flooding and tornadoes can – and do – occur all 12 months of the year; the
winter season, as just experienced, can – and does – produce crippling ice

“Storm systems will continue to develop and affect the region,” said Mike
Moore, head of the federal disaster recovery team in Arkansas, “and the
state has already experienced a bad hit this year. More severe weather
systems will strike this area; it’s just a matter of when, not if.  It’s
bound to happen again, so get ready now.”

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) urge residents throughout
the state to focus their attention on the weather, assemble and keep
disaster emergency preparedness kits close by and be ready to evacuate at a
moment’s notice if notified by local officials to leave their homes.

Put together a disaster kit and store it in a portable container in case of
evacuation. The kit should include:

.       At least a three-day supply of food and bottled water for each
family member
.       A manual can opener
.       Battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries
.       First aid kit with family members’ medications
.       Hygiene and personal care items
.       Emergency contact list and phone numbers
.       Pet supplies
.       Copies of important papers including insurance policies and bank
account information
.       Emergency cash or credit card in the case of an evacuation with
little notice and
.       A full tank of gas.

“Putting together a disaster preparedness kit only takes a short time and
can mean the difference between having the basic necessities or being
uncomfortable, and quite possibly in serious trouble, during a period when
you are away from home or without power,” said ADEM Director David Maxwell.
“Do it now.before more storms arrive and it’s too late.”

It’s also important to develop a family disaster plan and know how to stay
safe during an emergency.

.       Discuss what your family will do when flooding is eminent and where
you will go in an evacuation – to a shelter, hotel or to stay with family or
friends. Don’t forget about pets. Many shelters will not permit them, so
plan in advance what to do with them.


.       Know and review your evacuation route
.       Develop a family communication plan. Identify a friend or relative
in another state or city to serve as a point of contact in case family
members are separated

Be prepared for future disasters. Stay informed about the potential for
flooding and know the risks involved.

.       Determine the risk and take the necessary precautions.
.       Never drive through high water
.       Take action to reduce potential water damage. Consider flood
insurance as well as property insurance against strong winds. Review your
insurance coverage with your insurance agent, and update your coverage
amounts. Consider elevating utilities or appliances – even the entire home.
.       Focus on protecting and reinforcing the roof, windows and garage
against strong winds. Keeping these in place could lessen overall damage
during a straight-line winds or a tornado.
.       “Hurricane straps” – very effective during tornadic activity – and
shutters are cost-effective measures. Consult a building contractor, home
improvement store or go to the following websites:;  and