HOUSTON – As Hurricane Laura looms closer, many may be wondering if they’re really ready for the worst. Community Volunteer Fire Department Public Information Officer Lieutenant Kris Parrent shares what their team is doing and what you can do ahead of the hurricane.
“We opened up our emergency operations center. We’re picking up and preparing for the storm, " said Parrent. “We’re going to have 24/7 staffing for our emergency operations center until the storm is through.”
The Community Volunteer Fire Department was officially established on April 12, 1971. The organization is comprised of both part-time employees from municipal fire departments as well as volunteers. There are currently four fully-staffed stations trained in EMS, fire and rescue located throughout the Houston area.
“This is a huge storm. A category three is a severe storm and can cause very devastating damage,” said Parrent. “It still has an uncertain path, but Houston is very much in the possibility of where it can hit. "
Like many emergency responders, the CVFD is prepared and trained to handle hurricane season. But while having high-water rescue vehicles and boats is crucial, the CVFD also believes a key component to saving lives during a hurricane is preparing and educating the community. Here are some important storm safety reminders to help you get ready for Hurricane Laura.
STORM SAFETY CHECKLIST:
- Protect your property: secure outdoor objects than can damage your home, cover your windows and check for leaks
- Stock emergency supplies: these include but are not limited to water, prescription meds, non-perishable food and a flashlight
- Gather important documents: these include personal records like birth certificates and property records like insurance plans
- Monitor official news sources: stay up to date on the latest news from a trusted source
In addition to what you should be doing, Parrent also reminds the public of things to avoid before, during and after a major weather event.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
- Do NOT panic-buy: there’s no need to buy mountains of toilet paper or other supplies; get only what you need
- Do NOT go outside during the storm: wind is a major concern for Hurricane Laura; inside is the safest place to be
- Do NOT shelter near windows: a flying object can shatter the glass at any moment; avoid windows to be safe
- Do NOT walk/drive through high water: we’ve heard it a million times, but it still bears repeating “Turn around, don’t drown!”
- Do NOT dial 911 for non-emergencies: 311 is the non-emergency police line; here’s a list of other helpful numbers
Lastly, Parrent wants everyone to remember that we are all still in the midst of a pandemic and precautions against COVID-19 should still be practiced.
To watch the full interview, watch the video above. To connect with Parrent, visit the Community Volunteer Fire Department website.