Harris and Galveston counties urge residents to be prepared for potential evacuations

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Officials in both Harris and Galveston counties are preparing for potential evacuations, and while leaders are confident Hurricane Marco won't cause problems in the Houston area, the big concern lies with Tropical Storm Laura, which could hit as a category 2 hurricane.

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"I'm worried about people not taking this seriously," said Galveston County Judge Mark Henry on Sunday. "That's what I'm most worried about. Our plan will take shape after Tropical Storm Laura clears Cuba, which is anticipated to be [Monday] afternoon or evening."

READ MORE: Galveston Co. Judge discusses preparations after Marco becomes hurricane

As of 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Hurricane Marco is in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Laura is lashing islands in the Caribbean and could grow into a powerful hurricane.

If Tropical Storm Laura makes landfall in southeast Texas, Henry fears it could be devastating.

"There is talk of some pretty significant storm surge," he said. "We want to make sure if that occurs, we have plenty of times to order evacuations to get people out of the affected regions."

Meanwhile, Harris County is also looking at possible evacuations in its coastal communities.

READ MORE: Tropical storm slashes southeast of Puerto Rico

If you don't live near water, leaders said you should still get prepared.

"If you're not in an evacuation zone, be prepared to self-sustain yourself for about five days in case we do get a worst case scenario," said deputy coordinator for the Harris County Office of Emergency Management, Francisco Sanchez.

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In a one-on-one interview with the deputy director of the Harris County Office of Emergency Management, ABC13's Nick Natario asks why people should get prepared ahead of time and what is the most concerning scenario that could affect the Houston and Galveston area.



Due to the pandemic, several items, such as masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes have been added to the list of must-have items.

Since Tropical Storm Laura continues to change its direction, leaders urge residents to take this event seriously, and be prepared to evacuate.

"Anytime we have a potential for a major hurricane to approach the Houston, Galveston region, we need to be very concerned," said Sanchez.

Stay updated on daily forecasts and severe weather updates on ABC13's weather page.

SEE ALSO: Can two storms turn into a mega-storm.

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