BETA

A jump on hurricane season in Beaumont

BEAUMONT, Texas — Members of the Beaumont Texas Stake, hit hard by Hurricane Rita six months ago, sponsored a Family Emergency Preparedness Fair for their community on Feb. 25.

More than 400 people, including members and their friends and neighbors, attended the fair. The fair was designed to help the community better prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

"One of the lessons we learned from Hurricane Rita is that it's never too early to prepare," said Wade Miller of the stake high council, who helped organize the event. "We also learned that a 72-hour kit is not enough. Now, we're encouraging families to prepare a five-day or even seven-day kit."

Greg Bostwick, chief meteorologist for CBS affiliate KFDM-TV, was the keynote speaker. He shared video of Hurricane Rita and its destructive path through southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. Other participants included John Larsen, the Church's regional welfare director, and community emergency management officials and American Red Cross representatives.

Every ward and branch in the stake organized an exhibit showcasing ways families can prepare for emergencies, including hurricanes, floods, fires or the unexpected loss of employment.

"I heard your church was into preparedness and food storage, but I never expected this," said one woman as she picked up handouts. "This is the most organized organization I have ever seen." — David Long, stake public affairs