State Rep. Todd Hunter: With a 60% Chance of Above-Normal Hurricane Activity Predicted, Here's How to Prepare on the Texas Coast

NOAA’S Climate Prediction Center forecasts between 13 to 19 named storms, including 6 to 10 hurricanes – 3 to 6 of which could be major hurricanes.​​​​​​

By State Rep. Todd Hunter

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — 
In this week’s article I would like to remind everyone of the importance of being prepared for the upcoming storm and hurricane season. I am revisiting this topic because the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted – due to multiple climate factors – that this hurricane season will most likely have an above-normal amount of activity.

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal Season. The climate Prediction Center is forecasting between 13 to 19 named storms, with about 6 to 10 hurricanes – including 3 to 6 major hurricanes.

When storms and hurricanes make landfall, they affect the lives of 1,000s of Texans along the coast – and across the state. As storm and hurricane season continues, being prepared, being aware of hazards, and having a plan for evacuation can be lifesaving.

Because of the CoronaVirus, storm preparation and evacuation will involve different procedures this year – including social distancing, and new or additional Health & Safety Standards.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1st, and will conclude on November 30th. On average, there are about 12 named storms in a hurricane season.

During hurricane season, tropical cyclones are more likely to form. Tropical cyclones are a rotating organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over tropical or subtropical waters, have a closed low-level circulation, and rotate counterclockwise.

And not all tropical cyclones produce hurricanes:

  • NOAA defines a Tropical Cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38mph or less as tropical depressions.
  • A Tropical storm is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39-73mph.
  • Hurricanes are a tropical cyclone with wind speeds of 74 mph or higher and a major hurricane has a maximum sustained wind speed of 111 mph or more.
The Coastal Bend is considered an “Evacuation Zone” during hurricane season. If a hurricane is approaching, the best and safest thing to do is evacuate.

Its advised that you prepare an Evacuation Checklist & Kit ahead of time, and discussing how and where you plan to evacuate with family members or friends is essential as well.
  The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service recommends all coastal residents have these items in their Evacuation Kits:
 
  • First-aid kit, prescription medications, eyeglasses, copies of prescriptions, other special medical items, hearing aids and batteries
  • Important documents and records, photo IDs, proof of residence, information to process insurance claims
  • Credit cards and cash (if power is out, banks and ATMs may not be available)
  • Battery-operated radio, NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries
  • Phone numbers of family, friends, and other important phone numbers
  • Road maps
  • 3-day supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day, coolers for food and ice storage, paper plates, utensils
  • Manual can opener, knife, tools, booster cables, fire extinguisher, duct tape, tarp, rope, flashlight with extra batteries
  • Extra keys
  • Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags for each person, extra clothing, toys for children
  • Supplies for babies, the elderly and family members with special health care needs
  • Toilet paper, cleanup supplies, personal hygiene products
  • Leash, food, cleaning supplies and veterinary records for pets
The physical damage from hurricanes can be devastating. There are ways to mitigate damage from the strong winds and rain.
 
  • Simple fixes include trimming or removing damaged trees and limbs from your yard.
  • Have the proper materials in advance to board windows to protect them.
  • Bring loose outdoor items inside.
  • Secure all doors on your property, including the garage door, which is usually the most vulnerable.
  • Keep up with potential storms throughout hurricane season. And,
While we will do our best to keep everyone advised on these updates, for more information on how and what to do to prepare for the hurricane season, you may want to visit the American Red Cross. You can also visit the Texas Department of State Health Services

And as I stated earlier, as we continue to deal with COVID-19 CoronaVirus you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as your local officials.

Its very important to be prepared for hurricane season, as it is every year. The Coastal Bend of Texas is considered an “Evacuation Zone” during hurricane season – so be prepared.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned above, please don't hesitate to call my Capitol or District Offices. As always, we're available at any time to assist you with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603). And please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas State Agency or if you'd like help regarding Constituent Services.

If you'd like to review more about the Texas State Legislature, visit the Texas Legislature Online.
 
State Representative Todd Hunter serves the constituents of Texas House District 32, which is composed of Aransas, Calhoun, San Patricio and part of Nueces County
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