Think about hurricanes now
Hurricanes have been in the news of late - not just the continuing follow-ups of Hurricane Katrina's devastation, but news even more scary.
The waters in the Gulf, experts tell us, are unseasonably warm, leading weather-watchers to predict another busy hurricane season.
Already, the local Red Cross chapter is gearing up by stocking shelter supplies. It's also not too early for families and individuals to begin making hurricane plans.
To assemble a basic emergency supply kit, place your supplies in waterproof bags and store them in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as plastic tubs, unused trash cans or duffel bags. Your kit should contain enough supplies for at least five days and should be stored in a designated place, where all family members can locate it. Your kit should contain food and drink that doesn't require refrigeration; water; a battery-powered radio and extra batteries; and personal hygiene items.
It's also important to think about computer back-ups; copies of important paperwork like social security cards, birth certificates and driver's licenses. Current photos of family members are important in case you get separated from a loved one.
Think about family members or friends who might welcome hurricane evacuees in the event that a major storm threatens the Gulf Coast. If cash is a problem, begin setting aside funds in case you have to travel unexpectedly.
Here's hoping we don't have any Katrina-like visitors this year. But now's the time to plan for the worst in case we do.