Staff Report- For The Record

AUSTIN – With more than four months remaining in the 2015 hurricane season, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding residents to review their emergency plans and stay prepared for the potential threat of hurricanes or tropical storms. Hurricane season began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30 – and historically, the more active months during a hurricane season are August and September.

“Especially as we approach the most active part of hurricane season, the best time to prepare is now – before a storm is imminent,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Early and adequate planning makes all the difference when a hurricane or severe weather threatens an area, and DPS is urging Texans to stay informed and take precautions now.”

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. 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.
  • Plan ahead for individuals with functional or access needs.
  • 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.

To register for assistance – including evacuation assistance – during a disaster, visit: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/stear/public.htm

To monitor tropical activity this hurricane season, please visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov.