Greg Babst  

Pod Goes Prep: A How-to on Hurricane Safety

Greg Babst, Emergency Management Coordinator at Fort Bend Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, brings emergency prep to the pod and tackles the tips for hurricane safety. Hurricane season starts this May in Fort Bend, but the impacts of these natural disasters can be felt both before and after this time of heightened awareness. Greg talks through setting up a 72-hour kit, tapping into EOC’s resources, and getting prepared at the upcoming Fort Bend Ready event on April 27th.  

Timecoded Guide: 

[00:00] Podcast begins 

[02:25] Introducing guest Greg Babst from FBCEOM 

[06:07] Roles, resources & responsibilities at the Emergency Operation Center  

[09:15] Looking ahead to hurricane season & looking back at past storms 

[19:21] How to make your own 72-hour hurricane kit 

[28:13] Surveys & strategic planning from EOC to recover & repair post-storm 

[34:15] More information about the Fort Bend Ready event on April 27th  

[37:21] Final tips for practicing emergency prep & looking out for your neighbors 

What are the daily functions of the Emergency Operations Center?   

With a long name and an even longer list of responsibilities, Fort Bend citizens might be confused about the role of FBCEOM. In reality the role at the high-tech Emergency Operations Center is to keep emergency situations, from accidents to road closures to natural disasters, from scaling to a worse danger. Utilizing resources like Facebook to keep in contact with citizens and businesses, Greg’s team keeps everyone in Fort Bend safe and in-the-know.   

“There has to be coordination of resources to support emergency incidents to stabilize the incident so it doesn’t expand. That’s what the Emergency Operations Center does and that’s what the team does there, is make sure that we’re constantly being vigilant.” 

How should people in Fort Bend prepare for hurricanes?  

Hurricane prep can be a stressful task with uncertain outcomes, but Greg’s team recommends having a 72-hour kit. In this essential kit, important documents, medications, food and clean water should be easily accessible to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible. For large scale natural disasters, it often takes emergency services 72 hours to get to everyone in need, so it’s better to stay prepared with multiple days worth of essential items.  

“It’s going to take 72 hours for someone to get to you just because of the chaos that’s going on. What people don’t realize is as a hurricane is going across Fort Bend County, first responders hunker down. And then, it’s going to take them time to ramp back up to get out there, then it’s priority, right? It’s your most critical cases first, and then properties next.” 

When and where can Fort Bend citizens learn more about hurricane prep?  

You don’t have to prep alone this year, because FBCEOM will be giving lots of advice and information at the upcoming Fort Bend Ready on April 27th. Held at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds from 10am to 2pm, attendants will have the opportunity to learn from hurricane experts about how to stay safe even in the scariest of conditions. Tons of vendors will be at this event as well, creating a fun, family-friendly environment that adults and kids can enjoy.  

“We’re doing it in correlation with Hurricane Preparedness Week that starts the first week of May. So, we’re going to kick that off with our expo on April 27, which is a Saturday, it’s at our Fort Bend County Fairgrounds. Our team has got 40 to 50 vendors that are going to be there.” 

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Fort Bend Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management on FBCEOM.org 

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