Stay prepared during hurricane season

Published 4:00 pm Saturday, August 23, 2008

By By Jo Bonner
In just the past month, we have seen tropical depressions and hurricanes form in the Gulf, and as I’m writing this column, Tropical Storm Fay was making a hard left turn off the east coast of Florida and tracking slowly towards southwest Alabama.
The major concern with Tropical Storm Fay appears to be flooding due to heavy rainfall. Some areas in Florida were deluged by as much as two feet of rain. At this time, it does not appear that this storm will develop into a serious threat for Alabama.
Right now, we are in the midst of hurricane season, which officially ends Nov. 30. Tropical Storm Fay should serve as a reminder for us to continue to be prepared in the event a hurricane strikes south Alabama.
While we are so fortunate to call south Alabama and the Alabama Gulf Coast home, we know too well how critical hurricane preparedness can be. Each of the First District’s six counties is at risk of being affected by a hurricane or tropical storm.
The effects of a hurricane can be reduced if you and your family plan ahead and know the steps you should take before, during, and after any natural disaster. Remember, you can never be too prepared.
I once again encourage you to prepare a disaster supply kit, containing items such as water (at least 1 gallon daily per person), food (including non-perishable and canned items), a can opener, paper plates and utensils, blankets and pillows, clothing, first aid with medicines and prescription drugs, toiletries, a flashlight with batteries, battery operated radio, fully charged cell phone with an extra battery, cash, keys, important documents in a waterproof container or waterproof plastic bag, and insurance documents.
For more information regarding hurricane preparedness, you can visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website,
It is also important that you plan ahead in the event you are advised to evacuate. Know how you will leave and where you will go. You should become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation to get you to where you are heading.
Please remember my office and I stand ready to assist you. You can reach us toll free at 1-800-288-8721, and we’ll be glad to do all we can to be helpful.
ThyssenKrupp Plant Moving Forward
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council Luncheon. Bob Soulliere, president and chief executive officer of ThyssenKrupp USA LLC, delivered the keynote speech.
It is clear that ThyssenKrupp is quickly moving forward with its plans to build and operate a state-of-the-art carbon and stainless steel processing facility.
Any of you who have driven by the site in Calvert in the last few weeks have probably noticed the enormous modular office building brought to the site. As early as mid-September, it will begin housing office employees.
The plant is expected to begin operation in 2010, and when fully operational, it is expected to create 2,700 jobs. Over the next 20 years, the facility is expected to yield between 38,000 and 52,000 indirect regional jobs with the construction phase generating about 29,000 jobs over the next three years.
Clearly, ThyssenKrupp is off to a fast start, and we are all so proud they have chosen to call Alabama home.
Sad Goodbye to a Colleague
Last week, the chairwoman of the House ethics committee, Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), passed away after suffering a massive aneurysm.
Her impressive career culminated with her election to Congress in 1998, representing Ohio’s 11th District. She became the first African American woman to represent Ohio in Congress and the first to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee.
At the beginning of the 110th Congress, Stephanie was named chairwoman of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, of which I am a member.
She will be deeply missed, and I extend my deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or visit my website at .
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.

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