AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to remind all Texans that Hurricane Season officially starts today and runs through Nov. 30. Right now is the time to put emergency plans in place, so that residents are prepared in the event of a disaster.
"With Hurricane season officially upon us and the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey still very fresh in our minds, now is the time to take important steps to protect your family and your property," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "Texas is doing everything possible to get ready for this hurricane season and we are urging families to do the same. As we saw during Hurricane Harvey, lives can be saved when we all work together and have a plan."
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). In addition, hurricanes and tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes, create dangerous coastal water conditions, including storm surges, and cause extensive flooding damage. Additionally, the rainfall associated with a tropical system can have an extremely wide reach, so monitoring changing weather conditions during hurricane season is critically important for all Texans.
"Because tropical systems can be extremely powerful and unpredictable, early preparation can mean the difference between life and death," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "As the 2018 hurricane season starts, we encourage Texans to prepare now to help keep their families safe should a tropical storm or hurricane hit our state this year."
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.
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