Lubbock County encourages disaster planning as September is Nati - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock County encourages disaster planning as September is National Preparedness Month

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Lubbock Flood June 1 2016 Lubbock Flood June 1 2016
LUBBOCK, Texas -

While Hurricane Florence is set make its impact on the east coast, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration in response to a tropical system approaching the state. This comes after ordering the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to increase its readiness level. 

Clinton Thetford, Lubbock County emergency management coordinator, said while a tropical storm is unlikely to hit West Texas, there are other threats people need to watch out for. 

“You just never know. Wild land fires are a great threat for us right now. And that’s the kind of thing that it moves very quickly and so you need to immediately be able to go if you get that notification to evacuate,” Thetford said. “Some of the other things we see in West Texas include the Goliath, our big winter storm, you know where people were basically snowed in for days and days and days.”

Thetford said it is vital to be prepared in advance for any type of disaster.

“Providers of retailers, they only keep three to four days of inventory within their stores, so if we can’t get that inventory in because of weather or flooding or whatever, it may be a while before you see it. So you don’t want to wait until the very last minute to try to be doing that,” Thetford said.

Thetford also stressed having a safety kit available with at least three days worth of items inside. 

“Maybe one month, put some nonperishable food items in, maybe the next month put some band-aids, or some of those medical things that you might need,” Thetford said. “You want to look at having a battery powered or solar powered radio. You may need to look at a way to communicate with your family members. If cell phones aren’t working, how are you going to communicate? So those are some of the things you want to look at.”

Thetford said the county has a communication system in place, if needed. 

“I know at Lubbock County, we’ve had put in place what we call a general mobile radio service system. Here in the county, we currently have three repeaters and any citizen in Lubbock County that would like to participate in that can basically buy a couple of handheld radios for $100 a piece and be able to communicate on that system anywhere in Lubbock County for the most part. And we’re providing that free of charge to any of the citizens here,” Thetford said.

He added he encourages people to plan year-round, but said September is National Preparedness Month and is a great start for preparation. 

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