As the 2018 hurricane season continues, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans to evaluate their emergency plans now and monitor weather forecasts for the development of potential storms. Historically, August and September are the most active months during the Atlantic hurricane season (which began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30).
“As hurricane season continues, we are reminded of the lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “The state is proactively allocating the necessary resources to protect lives and property in the event of another hurricane, and it is imperative that Texas families do the same. When severe weather hits, being adequately prepared can mean the difference between life and death, and I encourage all Texans to take an active role in ensuring their own safety this hurricane season.”
All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes and tropical storms. It is possible for a storm to severely impact our state, even prior to or without making direct landfall in Texas. Hurricanes can cause widespread damage, and winds can vary from 74 to 157 miles per hour (or higher). Additionally, hurricanes and tropical storms can spawn tornadoes, create dangerous coastal water conditions, including storm surges, and cause extensive flooding damage. The rainfall associated with a tropical system can also have an extremely wide reach, so monitoring changing weather conditions during hurricane season is critically important for all Texans.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the type of devastation that hurricanes can cause is on the minds of many Texans,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS wants to remind all Texas residents to take precautions now to prepare for the peak months of hurricane season. Early and adequate preparations are of paramount importance, and Texans should take precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property well before a storm hits.”
Here are several measures residents can take now to prepare for potential storms:
- Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
- Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
- Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
- Consider any special needs for individuals with disabilities or the elderly.
- Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.
- Follow the instructions of local officials if a storm develops.
Residents are also encouraged to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. (Remember most flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before taking effect.) For more information, visit the Texas Department of Insurance website.
If you or someone you know might need assistance during a disaster, register now with the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) — a free registry that provides local emergency planners and responders with additional information about the needs in their communities. To register, contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or 877-541-7905 for community resources.