Hurricane Preparedness for Texas Residents
June 28, 2010
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an “active to extremely active” hurricane season, which just started on June 1st. The NOAA predicts that the amounts of hurricanes this season are very likely to exceed the usual 11 that have occurred in the past. This increase in number of hurricanes is due to several changes in the atmosphere. First, the strong wind that suppresses the storms is predicted to become weaker this season, making it more difficult for storms to be broken apart. Secondly, the temperature in the Atlantic Ocean is estimated to rise 4 degrees higher than the normal temperature in the area where the storms begin to brew. All this in mind, there is only so much human beings can do to control Mother Nature except be prepared.
Local and state governments are devising shelter plans for those living in the southern part of Texas. Most of the homes there are substandard to the norm. Officials say that even though during a category 3 hurricane residents are told to evacuate, most do not. They also recommend these residents to seek these sturdy shelters even when faced with a category 1 or 2 storm just to be safe. One of the school districts is even asking for additional funds to purchase a generator and provide showers for one of the high schools that serves as a shelter. These efforts are being made in hopes of convincing residents to come to the shelters where they will be safer than in most of the homes located in the area.
The governor has already been working on the state’s hurricane preparedness plan by taking part in the Texas Hurricane Conference held in May with emergency response personnel and volunteers to put together the best plan to not only prepare for a storm but respond and recover after. The governor proposes to include the following when preparing for this hurricane season:
- Create a plan for your family
- Have an emergency kit
- Prepare to evacuate (home and vehicle)
- Create evacuation routes
Knowing that phone services are highly likely to be interrupted during a storm, be sure to discuss with your family how everyone will be able to communicate with one another. Try to get some devices that do not rely on phone lines to operate or designate a meeting place. Also, make a list of those emergency contacts that we take for granted because their numbers are saved on our phones and we do not know them by memory. Make sure to keep it on you just in case you are not able to use phone.
Putting together an emergency kit is an important thing to remember. Try to keep all the items within an easy-to-carry container or a book bag. Be sure to include items like non-perishable foods and enough water for your family (1 gallon per person per day). Medical items such as a simple first aid kit and prescription drugs should be stocked in case of emergency. If you have pets, be sure to have plenty of food and the necessary supplies. Batteries, flashlights, and radios are highly suggested as well.
Creating evacuation plans is vital to avoid hectic situations during hectic times. Fill up on as much gasoline as possible and keep your vehicles somewhere out of harm’s way, avoiding trees or dangerous areas. Collect road maps to be familiar with different escape routes and listen to the radio for the best roads to take in case of closures. Not knowing how long you will be on the road if you need to get out of your area, you should bring an emergency kit. Avoid carrying extra fuel, as this would seriously put those in the vehicle at danger if something were to fall into your car or hit your car.
There is no way to avoid what Mother Nature has in store for us. The only thing we can do is be prepared for the worst. Following these suggested tips and staying in tune with the latest news in your area is the best way to be best prepared.