Houston officials to residents: Get ready now

June 1, 2010 11:06:08 AM PDT
Local officials have a message they want to stress to the public -- prepare now for this hurricane season. Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett have four steps they want everyone to keep in mind as this hurricane season gets underway, from June 1 to November 30.
  1. Make a plan
  2. Build a kit
  3. Stay informed
  4. Know your neighbors
Local leaders boiled the priorities down to this list. They say prior to the immediate threat of a hurricane, you should know whether you live in a flood zone, how to evacuate if the need arises and how to contact friends and family if you get separated. For instance, you might need to have a back up copy of all those cell phone numbers you haven't memorized.

Officials add you should have enough food, water and first aid equipment to last at least three days and have at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times during hurricane season. They add that if you were living in the area during hurricanes Rita and Ike, it's a good idea to review your plans from years past, particularly following last year's very calm hurricane season.

Mayor Parker promised, "The city will do its part, the county will do its part, the state of Texas will do its part, but each one of us who lives in a coastal region has to know what our role in that is."

"We live in a hurricane prone zone," Judge Emmett added. "We all hope and pray that we don't get hit, but if you operate under the assumption that a hurricane is going to come our way, then we're all much, much better prepared."

Judge Emmett also met with Galveston's mayor and said as soon as tropical force winds threaten the area, those coastal residents will be the first to evacuate. Anyone who needs special assistance including transportation, should call 211 now to be put on a list of those needing help in the event of an emergency. If you have called to be placed on this list before, you are asked to call again for this hurricane season.

Everyone is urged to get started on plans now, since this is anticipated to be a very busy hurricane season.


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