2014 hurricane season means to be prepared

May. 30, 2014Houston Public Media

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recently released its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, predicting normal to below-normal activity. Ike in 2008, was the the last hurricane to hit the Houston area hard. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett also serves as the director of the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Appearing on “Houston Matters”, he said the biggest concern he has is apathy:

“Not just the apathy of people who haven’t experienced a hurricane recently, but all those people who have moved into our area, who don’t have any experience with hurricanes. The advice the Red Cross gave was absolutely spot on, said Emmett. Make sure you have a plan, make sure you have a kit, know what to put in that kit, know the things that if you have to evacuate that you want to take with you, and don’t forget about pets.”

He urged residents to revisit their emergency plans and restock supply kits with essentials:

“Clearly water, I mean that’s the one thing you can’t live without and the standard is kind of a gallon a day per person, said Emmett. You need to have enough food and water for a week, make sure you take care of that. Extra supplies of your medicine, particularly if you live in an area where you’re going to have to evacuate from a possible storm surge. Have those extra medicines that you can just take with you.”

Fox 26 meteorologist Dr Jim Siebert, also appearing on Houston Matters, says hurricane categories mean nothing if a storm is headed our way:

“For example Hurricane Ike, it basically was a category-1hurricane, but it had characteristics of a catergory-5 hurricane, said Siebert. And so I always caution people, don’t focus so much on the category to begin with, more than looking at the hazards that you’re going to be experiencing, based on that particular storm, because they’re all gonna be different.”

He says you don’t have to have a hurricane to have a major problem:

“If you get 2-feet of rain anywhyere, you’re going to have problems. Let’s face it, this week we had what, 5,6,7 inches of rain, look what it did to the San Jacinto River, said Siebert. Double that, triple that, and you’re going to have major problems.”

Siebert adds, when a storm rolls in, it’s not the time to start thinking about a plan. Hurricane season runs for 6-months, ending November 30.