Message From The Chief – May 2016
June 1 marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. Packed with the potential for a powerful storm surge, high winds, tornadoes and flooding, a hurricane can devastate coastal areas as well as severely impact vast areas hundreds of miles inland. When Tropical Storm Bill came ashore in 2015, we were reminded that it doesn’t take a major storm to cause considerable damage to widespread areas, especially when they’re already saturated from extensive amounts of rain and overflowing rivers.
As we begin this hurricane season, much of Texas has experienced recurring heavy rainfall. The major rivers in Texas are flowing to the Gulf at high levels and many lakes and reservoirs across the state are full. One ill-timed storm could cause widespread devastation to vast areas in Texas where flood recovery from previous severe weather is still on-going.
In preparation for hurricane season, the National Weather Service sponsored Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 15 through May 21. Each day featured an important hurricane preparedness topic for everyone to review and act on. If you missed it or just need a refresher, these are the hurricane season preparedness topics:
These important aspects of being prepared are critical to know and follow during hurricane season and for the many other types of severe weather we experience in Texas. For example, many homeowners and renters falsely believe they’re covered by flood insurance under standard insurance policies. Know your risk for flooding and review your policy with your agent at least once a year to make sure you’re adequately covered. Don’t forget your vehicles.
Thousands of first responders and emergency managers across Texas are committed to keeping Texans safe during severe weather events, and they will be prepared if tropical storms threaten our coastal areas during this hurricane season. You can help by taking the time now to assess your readiness for these potentially dangerous storms.
Chief W. Nim Kidd, MPA, CEM® TEM®
Follow @chiefkidd on Twitter