Local officials prep for TS Alex

June 29, 2010 9:31:49 AM PDT
Tropical Storm Alex is gaining strength and a hurricane watch has been issued for the coasts of south Texas and northeastern Mexico. Although Houston is not yet in the forecasted path, Harris County leaders are working on preparations now. Harris County's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) is monitoring Tropical Storm Alex. Operations have moved from Level 4 (normal conditions) to Level 3 (increased readiness).

Emergency officials are reminding residents with special health care or transportation needs to register with the state's transportation registry if you will need help evacuating in the event of a hurricane.

Dial 211 as soon as possible:

  • If you have a disability or special health care need and require assistance to get out.
  • If you cannot drive and cannot arrange transportation.
  • If you do not have a vehicle and you have no one else to help you evacuate.
  • Galveston residents can register for the emergency notification program which includes emergency information for special needs evacuations. Call 409-797-3546 for notification and call 409-797-3655 for transportation. Additional information and updates are available on the City of Galveston website.

    Local emergency managers will make every attempt to evacuate someone who does not have the ability to evacuate themselves, as long as the person is in a surge zone. In the event of a hurricane entering the Gulf, individuals should pay close attention to local media to determine when and how evacuations will take place.

    If someone needs specialized transportation and has not been contacted, 211 Texas Information and Referral Specialists will have referrals for those callers at the appropriate time.

    Another reason for the registration process is to give local emergency planners a better idea of the numbers of individuals who may need assistance, and the type of assistance they may need. It is essential that all individuals have a personal plan concerning evacuation needs that includes family, friends, or neighbors who may be able to assist them.

    It is critical that you begin now to make your evacuation plans, prepare an emergency kit and learn the evacuation routes. This should be done well in advance.

    Operators answering the phones at 211 and 877-541-7905 for the hearing impaired are prepared to help you register now, before a hurricane strikes.

    The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Alex is expected to become a hurricane Tuesday. It's center is on a track from Yucatan headed for the Texas-Mexico border.

    A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.

    Keep your family safe this hurricane season. Check our complete tropical weather preparation guide


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