Residents urged to prepare for hurricane season

HOUSTON The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the 2011 hurricane activity along the Atlantic coast will be more severe than normal with the potential for three to six hurricanes rated at Category level 3, 4, or 5, meaning winds of at least 111 mph. Another respected forecast, from Colorado State University, puts the odds of at least one Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane touching down along a U.S. coastline this season at 72 percent; the long term average is 52 percent.

HCOHSEM urges everyone to prepare now. Your emergency supply kit should include:

  • NOAA weather radio and batteries
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Medications
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • Special products for babies, elderly and medically fragile family members
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Photo ID, important documents and records

If you live in an area threatened by storm surge -- an EVACUATION ZONE -- discuss evacuation plans with your family. Check with city or county officials to find out if your home is in an evacuation zone.

Make sure your home insurance policy up to speed. If you live in an area prone to flooding, tornadoes, or hurricanes, your standard homeowner's policy may require additional policies to cover flooding and wind damage.

Make a checklist of preparations to be made before an evacuation and go over it with your family. Review it again when a storm is in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you plan to stay in a hotel or motel, make reservations and confirm your reservations before you leave. If you plan to stay in a shelter, bring what you need to be comfortable, including bedding and toys for kids.

Prepare an emergency kit for your pets and a plan for how to care for them when you are on the road and in a shelter or motel. Do not leave your pets behind!

Finally, stay informed by monitoring the news media. Local officials will provide information about current conditions, evacuations and re-entry.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.

You can always find hurricane preparation information, safety tips, shopping list, checklists and other resources, as well as current weather conditions and more in Hurricane Central.

Get more hurricane preparedness information at HCOHSEM's website and at the Texas Division of Emergency Management .

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