June 1st marks the official start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) in collaboration with Houston Public Media have produced a special live-stream event, which shares forecasts and disaster preparedness information. The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30. Regardless of the forecast.
“Harris County residents need to be ready for potential disasters year round but the start of hurricane season is a good reminder of the importance of preparedness,” said Mark Sloan, Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Whether this is your first hurricane season or your 20th, now is the time to prepare.”
HCOHSEM reminds its residents to have a personal or family emergency plan, and an emergency kit, which contains enough non-perishable food, water, and medicines to last seven to ten days.
We also strongly encourage residents to buy flood insurance, even if they have never experienced flooding. Flooding is not covered under most homeowners insurance policies. Act now! Flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP) normally carries a 30-day waiting period and are not sold when there is an active tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information, visit FloodSmart.Gov.
The deadliest threat from hurricanes is storm surge, a wall of water that comes ashore ahead of a hurricane. Evacuation zones are based on the risk from storm surge. To determine if your home is located in an evacuation zone, check the Zip Zone Evacuation Map. Residents who may require assistance evacuating due to disability or functional and access needs can sign up with the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) online or call 2-1-1 to register for assistance.
Remember, it is important to stay informed before, during and after a hurricane. Sign up to receive weather and emergency alerts at www.readyharris.org, and closely monitor the news media during an emergency. Your local officials and this office will provide information about current conditions, evacuations and re-entry. Residents can also follow ReadyHarris on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.