The federal government is forecasting a below average hurricane season. Despite the prediction, officials across Greater Houston say now is the time for residents to be prepared.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett marked the beginning of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season by talking to reporters at Houston TranStar, the county’s emergency operations center.
Emmett says the facility plays a key role inevacuating residents from a storm’s path.
“We can monitor everything, not only the traffic, the evacuation routes, we can tell you where all the ships are in the area. We can pull up the airplanes if we want to, but the key is to keep traffic moving in an evacuation, and this is the place to do that from,” Emmett says.
Weather forecasters predict a quiet hurricane season, with 6-to-11 named storms, of which 3-to-6 could become hurricanes. But folks who live near the Gulf of Mexico need to be prepared.
Emmett says an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions is critical.
“The predictions really don’t matter to us. We live on the Texas Gulf Coast. We are going to be hit by a hurricane. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. But people need to prepare as if one’s going to hit,” Emmett says.
He adds the recent heavy rains do not compare with what could happen during a hurricane. Emmett says it’s not the rainfall that causes damage but the storm surge.