Houston-Area Emergency Management Office Preps for Hurricane Season
May 7—As Harris County continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey, officials are reminding residents that the start of the 2018 hurricane season is less than a month away.
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has released a statement urging everyone to prepare in advance of June 1.
“By preparing now, residents can protect themselves and their families from the damaging impacts of a storm,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Area residents can prepare by developing a personalized plan, creating a disaster supply kit and staying informed.”
HCOHSEM is promoting National Hurricane Preparedness Week for the next few days by offering safety tips. "But it is up to each person and or family to know their risks and plan for their individual needs," according to HCOHSEM. Some safety precautions include:
• Discuss and practice an emergency plan with your family
• Sign up to receive weather and emergency alerts
• Assemble an emergency supplies kit that includes a NOAA weather radio
• Have an emergency bag ready to go with important documents in case you need to evacuate
• Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full
• Trim trees and branches that can easily fall on your home or vehicle
• Secure loose objects outside your house before severe weather moves in
“It is impossible to precisely predict where storms will form or hit, so it is important that everyone prepares,” added Emmett. "As we all know, it only takes one storm to devastate a community.”
The office is urging residents to assess risks now and know their home's vulnerability to hurricane hazards. Further, they urge residents to contact their insurance agent for information about flood insurance, as well as understand National Weather Service (NWS) forecast products and the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
The Zip Zone Evacuation Map or city and county officials can determine whether a home lies within an evacuation zone. If a resident will need transportation or help evacuating, they can sign up with the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry or call 2-1-1, according to the release.
"Remember to prepare an emergency kit for your pets and a plan for how to care for them when you are on the road, in a shelter or motel," the press release concludes. "Please do not leave your pets behind!"
Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Area residents can visit ReadyHarris.org to sign up for emergency alerts.