Houston, TX

Safety experts offer tips to prepare for hurricane season

Marisol Gallagher

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HOUSTON — Experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) said that preparing in advance is the best way to face hurricane season.

Weather experts have warned Americans to prepare for an active and potentially dangerous Atlantic season, which officially started on June 1, with expected potential heavy rain and strong winds and the threat of power loss.

Robert Emery, DrPH, vice president of safety, health, environment, and risk management for UTHealth, mentioned that while Southeast Texans had been staying up to date with COVID-19 guidelines and precautions, it is also crucial for them to start prepping for the upcoming hurricane season as well.

“The pandemic doesn’t make the known hurricane season go away. The time to prepare is now, before a storm is barreling down on us,” said Emery.

Emery mentioned that the most important thing when planning the preparedness kit is asking what the family and the person need the most to survive up to 72 hours if a hurricane hit

“This will include items such as water (at least five gallons), nonperishable food, flashlights, batteries, medications, and diapers for young children – whatever items your family depends on for survival,” added Emery.

Besides the preparedness kit, individuals or families need to prepare their homes for the hurricane season, such as securing any items outside that could be blown away during high winds.

Homeowners should store important documents in a watertight location like the ziplock bag, plastic containers, or other waterproof containers.

Families also need to pack phone chargers, jumper cables for vehicles, any medications, an extra pair of eyeglasses, identification, cash, blankets, pillows, pet food, water bowl, and leashes for family pets.

“People with mobility impairments and others who use battery-powered mobility devices need to have backup generators and prepared to find alternative places to charge their batteries,” said a professor of health informatics at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics, LexFrieden.

Individuals in need of evacuation assistance can call 311. Operators will obtain specific information on the person’s needs, including information on caregivers, pets, medical equipment, and mobility assistance devices.

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