The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is advising residents about the upcoming hurricane season and encouraging the public to begin preparing for any possible storms. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

“Adequate and advance preparation is one of the most significant ways Texans can help mitigate the unpredictable and dangerous nature of hurricanes,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Although residents along the Gulf Coast are the most vulnerable, storms can endanger communities far inland, and DPS is urging Texans to start taking precautions now for the 2015 hurricane season.”

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. Because the strongest winds in a hurricane are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a storm to affect conditions over land even if landfall does not occur.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and areas several hundred miles inland, and winds can exceed 155 miles per hour. In addition, hurricanes and tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes, create storm surges along the coast, cause extensive damage from flooding and create dangerous rip currents.

Here are several measures residents can take now to prepare for potential storms:

  • Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
  • Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
  • Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
  • Consider any special needs for individuals with disabilities or the elderly.
  • Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.

For more information on these tips and other ways to prepare for the 2015 hurricane season, please visit: www.texasprepares.org.