WAXAHACHIE — For over the last week, televisions around the country have been tuned into coverage of the flooding and tragedy in southeast Texas. Residents were frequently shown in boats with child or puppy on board in the driving rain with nothing to shield them but a plastic sheet.

Time after time, some of those affected said they did not think the water would come up that high or that fast. If they have anything with them, it is what they could stuff in a plastic trash bag.

So what should they have done to prepare themselves for evacuation during a disaster?

Stephanie Parker, Ellis County Emergency Management Coordinator, visited the Rotary Club to explain the “72 Hour Bag." She maintains that you should to have everything you will need for three days in case of a sudden disaster, as it could take that long for organized relief to help you.

The bag should be personal because you may have special needs. Some sample things on her list included:

Ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables — remember the can opener

1 gallon of water per person per day

Medicines and a list of medications and schedules

Battery operated phone charger


Sanitary supplies such as wipes and zip lock bags

Battery operated NOAA weather radio with SAME option

Contact information for someone outside your area so you can let the family know where you are and your condition

Residents will also need a bag for each pet that includes a shot veterinarian record because a collar tag is not accepted at kennels. The furry companion will also need food, water, a toy and other items to help deal with stress.

Parker reminded the Rotary that many of the preparations made before a disaster are likely not to be useful. For instance, if there is no gasoline that generator and car in the garage will not work. If the electricity is off, you can not recharge your cell phone. She advises using common sense and remembering the best interests of your family.

More information is available at www.ready.gov or by calling Parker at (972) 825-5193 or sending her an email at stephanie.parker@co.ellis.tx.us.