By Emily Banks Wooten
Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Courtney Comstock and Deputy Coordinator Samuel Murra presented a program on hurricane preparedness during the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s recent quarterly membership meeting Cho-Yeh Camp & Conference Center.
“Hurricanes are tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1-Nov. 30. People who live in hurricane prone communities should know their vulnerability and what actions should be taken to reduce the effects of hurricanes,” Comstock said, adding that the Texas Department of Emergency Management, NOAA and local communities join together to recognize hurricane preparedness week every year.
“Polk County is located a little over 100 miles inland. Polk County is not affected by storm surge. However, torrential rains, tornados and high winds can result from hurricanes and cause damage to life and property,” Comstock said. “Heavy rains produced by a hurricane can cause flash flooding near the Trinity and Neches rivers.”
Comstock reviewed the list of items that should be in a hurricane preparedness disaster supply kit. The list includes water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both; flashlight and extra batteries; first aid kit; whistle to signal for help.
Comstock encouraged people with functional and access needs to call 211 to register to be included in the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry. She said those that should register are people with disabilities, people who are medically fragile, people with functional needs and people who require transportation assistance. She also recommended that these people have a checklist of medical equipment and assistive devices; a list of model numbers or serial numbers of medical devices and equipment; medical alert tags or bracelets; medications and copies of all prescriptions; hygiene supplies; phone numbers and names of physicians; and supplies for service animals.
Comstock told everyone about AlertMePolkCounty, the county’s emergency notification system which delivers emergency alerts via phone, text and email. The emergency alerts may include severe weather, wildfire, hazmat, evacuations and crime. You may register online but if you need assistance or do not have internet access, you may call the Officer of Emergency Management please at 936-327-6826 or visit the office at 602 E. Church St. Suite 165 in Livingston. You may be registered for the service in person or over the phone. Choose the “Outreach Message Option” in AlertMePolkCounty to receive notifications.
Other upcoming chamber events include:
• Ribbon cuttings for Fields Paint Contractors at 10:30 a.m. on July 8; Farmers Insurance Lawson Agency at 1:30 p.m. on July 29; and Sheri Clamon Insurance Agency at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 10.
• Power Hour with the Chamber from 8-9 a.m. July 5 at The Bull Shack. This event is held the first Tuesday of each month.
• Quarterly Membership Luncheon on Sept. 27.
• Learning Luncheons on Sept. 20, Oct. 18 and Nov. 15.
• WINOs (Women Interested in Networking Opportunities) on Sept. 29, Oct. 27 and Nov. 17.
• Come Clean Lake Livingston on Oct. 15.