Not a quick fix

Republic Services crew members work in Houston, Texas. Help arrived from company's Kilgore location in the form of roll-over trash containers, food and other necessities.
Republic Services crew members work in Houston, Texas. Help arrived from company's Kilgore location in the form of roll-over trash containers, food and other necessities.

Everyone faces disaster at least once or twice during a lifetime, whether it is through tornadoes, storms, hurricanes or wild fires.

During the wildfires of a major drought season in East Texas several years back, Kim Gore handed out the following emergency list to everyone she knew including us at the Kilgore News Herald. When I had to load my car more than once that year for possible evacuation, this list served as a focal point to get past the shock an evacuation is really happening.

With disaster teams steadily working in the Houston area and Hurricane Irma now causing evacuations in Florida, we have dusted the list off to get it back in the hands of those who may get caught “On the go”.

Every household needs a “Go Bag” in case of an emergency

Here are suggestions for what it should contain:

• Copies of Important Papers – not the originals of all Birth Certificates, Driver’s License, Passports, Insurance Papers, Will, Medical Record (i.e. shot record for children)

• Bank Information

• House and Car Keys

• List of all Medications and Pharmacy where they are filled

• Address Book or list of people to contact

• List of Credit Card Numbers and their Contact Information

• Checkbook, if used for Anything

• Flashlight and extra batteries

• Small shampoos, toothpaste, new toothbrush, comb and/or brush, lotion, sample size bar of soap, roll of toilet paper, sunscreen, travel size pkg. laundry detergent, pkg. of disinfectant wipes, Kleenex, chap stick, emery board

• First Aid Kit

• Travel Sewing Kit

• Large Garbage Bag

• 5 – 10 Ziploc Bags

• One pair Heavy Socks for each household member

• One change of Utility Clothing (long sleeve shirt or jacket, long jeans, sturdy shoes) for each household member

• A Pillow Case and Flat Sheet for each household member

• Eyeglass or Contact Prescription

• A List of the Ten Most Valuable Keepsakes you always want to have and where they are in your home

• Chargers for all connectivity devices (phone, computers, etc.)

• Several Bottles of Water (equivalent to one gallon per person - 3 day supply)

• A few small snacks (nuts, crackers, things that have a long shelf life)

• Note Pad and Pen

Think what you would need if you were spending the night on the floor of a school cafeteria or in your car.

MANY of the photos now surfacing from the Houston area contain large trash bins and piles of debris by the curbside.

“We will never find all of the containers blown away by Harvey from the restaurants, gas stations and virtually on every business corner,” said Gene Keenon, Government Affairs Manager for Republic Services. “They may be floating somewhere in the ocean until eternity.”

“HOUSTON is the area office for Republic Services,” continued Gene. “Harvey affected more than just services. It affected lot of our employees’ lives and homes,” he said. “We have sent the large roll-off trash containers from Kilgore and we have so far sent three pickup trucks filled with generators, food and other necessary items.

Republic Services covers parts of thirty eight states and they are currently preparing to send equipment to Florida. “We may have to put cement in the bottom of these,” he laughed.

“IS IT STRAWBERRIES OR PRUNES?” asked Rev. Dan Hoke, guest speaker for the Hilltoppers luncheon at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church this week.

“We can learn what we don’t know,” he began what he considered the first of two major blessings a person receives. He followed with “laughter lasts.” Examples were given for each blessing with the strawberries or prunes actually found by him on a small sign found hanging on a church door regarding a festival. He pointed out life is a festival and gave examples of turning prunes into strawberries.

“For example, take all that we are hearing about Hurricane Harvey?” he asked the audience. “Do we have to focus on all of the disaster? Or can we look for the strawberries?”

Leaving the Hilltoppers with laughter was his aim and they can’t wait for a return visit. He lives in Jefferson.

THE FOLLOWING DAY, when explaining his remark about the strawberries or prunes to Kilgore’s Tourism Manager Ryan Polk, Ryan quickly remarked, “Oh, one of the funniest strawberries of Harvey I saw was the one posted on Facebook about never seeing two sheep in a boat before!” I think he and Rev. Hoke need to meet up. But, his remark had everyone at his lunch table passing phones showing funny things in the midst of the prunes.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or 903-984-2593.


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