Dr. Kanti Bansal with SignatureCare Emergency Center, Houston, TX says Tropical Storm Barry should serve as a warning to Texas families to prepare for the next storm.
Hurricane experts believe the City of New Orleans, Louisiana dodged a bullet when the Tropical Storm Barry failed to develop into a major hurricane as predicted, but a Houston, TX emergency room physician says that should serve as a warning to all Texans.
Dr. Kanti Bansal, MD, an emergency room physician with SignatureCare Emergency Center, said even though Texans did not have to deal with Tropical Storm Barry, they should take this as an opportunity to prepare for the next one that may hit the region.
“Tropical Storm Barry made landfall in Louisiana over the weekend but if it had come to Texas, how prepared are Texas families to deal with the devastation?” Dr. Bansal asked.
He called on Texans to use this opportunity to ensure their emergency kits are in order.
“This is vitally important. For those that already have emergency kits, this is the right time to ensure they are in order, that every item that should be included, is part of the kit.”
For those families who may not have thought of having emergency kits for their families, Dr. Bansal said this is a good time to put one together.
“It is like having insurance. You do not want to wait until you need an emergency kit to put one together. You want to make sure you have one in place before you need it,” he said.
The board-certified ER doctor said items that must be in an emergency kit include water (one gallon of water per person, per day), non-perishable food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit and extra batteries.
“It is like having insurance. You do not want to wait until you need an emergency kit to put one together. You want to make sure you have one in place before you need it.”
Other items include whistle or other instruments to help attract attention should that become necessary, plastic sheet and dust mask, manual can openers, and power backup for cellphones.
“This list is not exhaustive. You can add other items as needed but keep in mind that you may need to move with the kit so do not make it heavy. Add only the essential items your family will need,” he said.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other items that should be in a standard emergency kit include prescription and non-prescription medications, infant formula, diapers, wipes, pet food and extra water for pets, cash, important documents, blankets, and more.
Dr. Bansal said although Texas may not see a hurricane this season, he said every family should be prepared because it is impossible to accurately predict what will happen.
“You can’t tell what will happen. We may go through the season without getting hit or we may get one or more hurricanes. The best thing to do is to ensure your family is prepared,” Dr. Bansal said.