It's Hurricane Season in Texas – Do You Have a Plan?
Monday, June 20, 2022
State agencies gathered in Austin last week for hurricane exercises. They emphasize that all Texans need to prepare before the next disaster.
Harris County Public Information Officer Brian Murray said the Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and will continue through the end of November. He said most residents in vulnerable areas have heard what they need to do to be ready.
"Having a disaster kit - food, water, medications, supplies for your pets for seven to 10 days so you can be independent," said Murray. "Having a plan - do you need to worry about having to evacuate for a storm surge or are you able to ride-out where you are? And then, being able to stay informed."
Staying informed may mean an extra battery pack for your phone, and telephone numbers for important contacts. Last week's exercises by 30 state agencies covered preparation, response, recovery and mitigation.
Juanita Jiménez-Soto, associate state director of communications with AARP Texas, said being prepared can mean peace of mind, especially for older Texans and their families.
"If you're rushing at the last minute, you forget things," said Jiménez-Soto. "Sometimes you forget things that are vital to your health - vital to your financial future. So, being prepared means that you've basically put a sense of relief in your life."
Murray said he's surprised by the number of folks in Harris County who tell him they don't expect a hurricane.
"Everyone always thinks, 'It can't happen to me,'" said Murray. "Well, sorry, we have more federally-declared disasters than any county in the United States. If you believe that it can't happen to you - it doesn't matter where you are - I'm going to tell you that you're wrong."
Jiménez-Soto said the organization has created hurricane checklists and an instructional video in both English and Spanish - at AARP.org/Houston. She said everyone needs to know about the checklist, especially older family members.
"And if you have someone who is 50-plus," said Jiménez-Soto, "you've got medications - you've got doctor's appointments - maybe there's a nutritional need that they have."
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