Residents Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season Now
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Texas Division of Emergency Management today hosted representatives from approximately 30 agencies at the Texas State Operations Center in Austin for a large-scale hurricane exercise, dubbed Hurricane Charlie. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), along with the state agencies and partner organizations with the Texas Emergency Management Council, are conducting the week-long hurricane exercise with various local officials and federal partners to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through November 30. DPS is also reminding Texans to make plans now to protect themselves and their families before a storm develops.
“This week, our local, state and federal emergency management leaders are conducting a large-scale hurricane exercise to bolster our preparedness efforts for this year’s hurricane season,” said TDEM Chief Nim Kidd. “Early preparation is critical to saving lives when a hurricane or severe weather occurs, so we are asking the public to do just that – get ready now.”
The Hurricane Charlie exercise enables local, state, federal and private sector emergency management partners to practice evacuation, sheltering and continuity of operations plans. The mock Category 3 hurricane will create a 20-foot storm surge and take aim at the Texas coast, ultimately making landfall just west of Galveston – and accordingly, numerous local agencies in the area are also participating in this exercise.
All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. It is possible for a storm to severely impact our state, even prior to or without making direct landfall in Texas. Additionally, the rain bands associated with a tropical system have an extremely wide reach, so monitoring changing weather conditions during hurricane season is critically important for all Texans.
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.
If you or someone you know might need assistance during a disaster, please register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), a free registry that provides local emergency planners and responders with additional information about 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.
Residents are encouraged to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and to consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. For more information, visit http://www.tdi.texas.gov/takefive/flood-insurance.html.