GRAYSON COUNTY, TX - September is National Preparedness Month and the The Texas Division of Emergency Management is urging residents to make sure they have a plan in place to protect their families if a disaster occurs. Officials say the key to having a plan is making sure everyone is on the same page.
"Everyone's been watching what's happening with wildfires in Texas and there are a lot of families that are learning the hard lesson of what it means to evacuate in a hurry," said Sarah Somers, Grayson County Emergency Management Coordinator.
Somers says the best way to get through a disaster is to make sure everyone in your family knows what to do and when to do it before the need arises.
"If you don't have a plan for your family to get back in touch with each other, if you don't have go kit put together with specific items in it, or already have a plan of what might go into it if you need to leave in a hurry such as legal papers, identification, your medications you might need on a daily basis, it can cause a real problem. On the other hand if you've thought that through, and you've made a plan for your family, then it can be a good thing."
And once you've made a plan Somers says it's important that you stay connected. "We have a saying in emergency management. It's called situational awareness, knowing what's going on. And every individual in Grayson County needs to have situational awareness. They need to be tapped into information sources."
Like smart phones, the internet, television, and battery powered weather radios incase the electricity goes out. And if you want notifications sent your way, Grayson County has a telephone alert system you can sign up for called "Code Red."
"It provides them critical emergency notifications," Somers said. "We either issue the notice here or weather warnings go out. So for instance if we had a particular wild fire evacuation in a particular area we might use Code Red to assist us in getting the word out.
To learn how to sign up for Code Red, you can go to the Grayson County Website at www.co.grayson.tx.us or call (903)813-4321