Hurricane Season officially begins June 1st — be prepared
By State Rep. Todd Hunter
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas — Hurricane season is a few days away, and now is the time to put a hurricane preparedness plan in place. The season, which officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th, is the time of year most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Basin. It is these storms that pose the greatest threat to the United States.
Scientists from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their forecast for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, predicting a near normal or above normal season. The forecasters predict a 70% likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those named storms, the forecasters predict five to nine could become hurricanes, including one to four major ones.
Nueces County is one of the 14 Tier 1 Coastal Counties in the state, a designation given to the counties most likely to be affected by a hurricane that makes landfall in Texas. I would like to share some of the steps you can take to ensure your family is safe and prepared.
One of the most important ways to prepare for a hurricane is by developing a Family Disaster Response Plan. This can be accomplished by first identifying specific hurricane risk factors such as geographical proximity to the coast, the structure in which you reside, and personal circumstances such as medical conditions.
Other important components of a Family Disaster Response Plan include:
- Creating a List of Emergency Contacts
- Locating Potential Safe Rooms within your home
- Determining where to store items in the event a hurricane-related hazard develops, and
- Don’t forget to plan for taking care of your pets in case of evacuation
It is also essential families determine evacuation and escape routes from homes, along with places to meet in case of an emergency.
In addition to a comprehensive Family Disaster Response Plan, another key way to prepare for hurricane season is by creating a disaster response kit. This kit can include:
- Seasonal Clothing
- Special items for Infants & the Elderly
- Sufficient supplies of Food & Water, and
- Be sure to also include 1st Aid Supplies, including
- Medicines & Prescription Drugs
Living along the coastline also means preparing for hurricanes by retrofitting your home. It is important to strengthen the outside of your home so that wind and objects are less likely to tear openings in your roof or walls. Protecting your home, car, and other personal property should also include ensuring you have the right insurance coverage in case of a weather event such as flooding.
The National Flood Insurance is a pre-disaster flood program designed to reduce flood disasters. The National Flood Insurance program can be called at 1-888-379-9531.
In addition to getting your family, pets and homes safe and prepared, I would encourage you to take note of some of the state and national resources available for information about hurricane preparedness and evacuation.
Information regarding evacuation routes and travel safety during a storm is accessible by calling the Statewide Road Conditions hotline at 1-800-452-9292 or by visiting Texas Online – The Official Portal of Texas.
You can also go to my website, which will provide you links, websites to various sources for hurricane preparedness, planning for an evacuation, tips on hurricane preparedness as well as state and federal government resources.
Also, if you are elderly or disabled and need hurricane evacuation assistance, you can call 2-1-1. This service will assist you in hurricane evacuation.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) designated May 6th through May 12th as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. As part of this awareness week, the NOAA has released a series of daily preparedness tips, webinars, and other educational tools in advance of hurricane season.
These resources are available online National Weather Service. In addition, the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center provides up to date information such as watches, warnings, and long-range forecasts of weather disturbances and tropical cyclones that have the potential to affect the United States and the Caribbean.
- You can stay informed on potential threats to our region by visiting the National Hurricane Center.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services.
Texas State Representative Todd Hunter represents Texas House District 32, covering Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces (Part) and San Patricio Counties. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Texas Politics