With two tropical disturbances now in the North Atlantic Ocean and slowly making their way to the Caribbean, the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management is reminding citizens that it is never too soon to prepare for a major hurricane.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, and weather experts are predicting a 60 percent chance of a higher-than-normal season with an estimated 14 named storms, seven of which may be hurricanes and three may be major hurricanes.
HOW TO PREPARE
- Know your hurricane risk – Coastal residents are not the only ones impacted by a storm. Rain, water, wind, water and tornadoes can happen far inland.
- Make an emergency plan – Visit ready.gov to download a checklist of items you will need to weather a storm. Emergency management chiefs suggest that people have enough food, water and supplies to survive for several days until resources can be mobilized. Be sure to include items for your pets, livestock and other animals. Check on elderly family members and neighbors to make sure they have an ample amount of food, water and medicines.
- Not everyone who is impacted by a hurricane is required to evacuate. Liberty County is a pass-through county with no emergency shelters for residents in neighboring counties. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you may still need to evacuate. If you are impacted by the threat of rising water or flash flooding, you should learn evacuation routes and communicate your plans with family and friends.
- If you evacuate, take with you all important documents, such as vital records, insurance policies and personal documents. Consider making copies of these items and storing them on your cloud storage. Photos can also be uploaded to cloud storage to prevent losing them in a catastrophe.
- Stay ready. If you know a storm is imminent and may be a threat to your home or business, be sure to charge all your electrical devices, such as phones and tablets. Also consider purchasing backup battery chargers.
- Try to prevent damage through responsible maintenance. Clean out gutters and storm drains, tie down items that may blow away such as trampolines and deck umbrellas.
- Make sure your home and auto insurance policies updated. Check with your insurance agent to make sure the amount of coverage will pay for your losses in the event of a catastrophic hurricane event. Do not let your policy lapse. Once a storm enters the Gulf, it’s too late to purchase an insurance policy.
Crista Beasley-Adams, coordinator for the Liberty County OEM also offered these suggestions to ensure that residents are prepared in the event a hurricane strikes Southeast Texas:
- Remember to register with the STEAR program if you require assistance during an event. You can do so by calling 211 and registering or registering online: https://olympus.soc.texas.gov/Services/STEAR/Login.aspx
- Remember to register with NIXLE by texting your zip code to 888777 or https://local.nixle.com/register/
- Find us on Nextdoor, https://nextdoor.com/agency/liberty-county-emergency-management/?i=rqjdcrgjxgkgnldhmbtj