Always be prepared on the Gulf Coast

If you’ve lived along the Gulf Coast long enough you know that you should always be prepared. In addition to hurricane season, we’ve got year-round severe weather with flooding chances, damaging winds and more. Just in the last few years we’ve had several events that have led to school and business closures such as floods, fires and a pandemic. The key to getting through it has always been preparation.

So far in 2020, the credit union has already had to activate two plans that outline how we as an organization prepare for different circumstances. Our pandemic plan was activated early this year and the preparation from that plan helped the credit adjust during the pandemic to continue providing service to our member-owners. June 1st marks the start of hurricane season and our hurricane preparedness plan was activated as a named storm entered the Gulf.

Prepared at home

My wife is much better at preparing our household for contingencies such as floods, hurricanes and as I found out more recently, pandemics. A big part of preparing is paying attention and since it is hurricane season, a visit to the National Hurricane Center is a must. She quickly identifies potential concerns and prepares the house for at least a minimum of a week without being able to access outside services such as grocery stores.

The list usually includes the following:

  • Bottled water
  • Nonperishable foods
  • Batteries
  • Bags of ice

Prepared to leave

A part of being prepared on the coast is an evacuation plan. For hurricanes, mandatory evacuation orders may come to those who live closest to the coast and bays. Know where you will be going ahead of time. For example, we have family on the west side of Houston where we can go. You no doubt have seen the digital signs on area roads that read storm in Gulf, keep tank filled. Sound advice that I know some people always follow and never let their tanks go below halfway.

Prepared for the aftermath

This part of planning is the most difficult. Take the pandemic and stay at home orders for example. It was very difficult to plan for the volume of job loss and business closings that came with it. People had to use their emergency savings to sustain them as they instantly were out of work. With hurricanes, the aftermath can include being without power for weeks to having to demo your house due to flood damage. Preparing for the aftermath includes having all your important documents and insurance contacts readily available.

Being prepared should be the motto of everyone who lives along the Gulf Coast.

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Post author: Jamieson Mackay, CCUFC

The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.