Two Months Into The Hurricane Season – Be Prepared And Make Sure You Have a Plan In Place
On June 1, 2012, we officially entered the hurricane season and from mid to late August we will be entering the most active part of the season. It is important to be prepared during hurricane season because it can help keep both you and your family safe. The 2012 hurricane season as mentioned started on June 1and will end on November 30, 2012. According to the National Hurricane Center, the peak of hurricane season goes from mid-August to late October and it is during this time that most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Basin. It is important to note though that dangerous hurricanes can happen at any time during hurricane season.
All four counties currently in District 32-Aransas, Calhoun, San Patricio and Nueces-are included among the 14 Tier One counties along the Texas coast. This means that these counties are most likely to be affected if a hurricane makes landfall. It is important that our area, as well as all Texans, prepare for hurricanes by staying informed, creating a disaster plan and following necessary steps to keep their families safe.
When hurricanes make landfall or get close to land, they can affect the lives of thousands of Texans along the coast and across the State of Texas. There are various tips on being prepared in case of a hurricane. Some of the tips include the preparation of a family disaster plan. A family disaster plan includes planning for hazards that could affect your family as well as home. Vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind should be reviewed. You should locate safe rooms or places in your house to store items if a hurricane hazard develops. It is important that families determine evacuation and escape routes from your home and places to meet in case of an emergency. Also, have an out-of-state friend as a family contact so that all family members have a place of contact. Don’t forget to plan for taking care of your pets in case of evacuation.
In addition, families need to create a disaster supply kit. The National Hurricane Center suggests that your disaster supply kit should include such things as:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Living along the coastline also means preparing for hurricanes by retrofitting your house. It is important to strengthen the outside of your home so wind and objects do not tear openings in your roof or walls. Some people may want to find out about flood insurance. 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-CALL-FLOOD, Extension 445.
In addition to getting your family, pets and homes safe and prepared, there are various state websites for hurricane preparedness and evacuation, including telephone numbers. Some important contacts include Statewide Road Conditions which can be called at 1-800-452-9292 and going to Texas Online – The Official Portal of Texas at www.texasonline.com.
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.
Another great source to help with your hurricane preparedness is the National Hurricane Center (NHC) which can be found at www.nhc.noaa.gov/ . On the NHC site you can find additional tips on hurricane preparedness, hurricane tracking charts, and up-to-date reports on weather activity occurring in the Atlantic Basin along with many other things.
Overall, being prepared for a hurricane and living in a coastal region is very important. Hopefully, this will continue to be a quiet and safe season.