• June 19, 2024

Preparing For Hurricane Season

Preparing For Hurricane Season

As meteorologists forecast an active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, experts emphasize the importance of early preparation for residents in hurricane-prone areas. Barry Goldsmith, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley, advises residents to start their preparations now.

“There are three things people should do. First, they need to check their evacuation plans—know where they are going, whether those people can house them, if they need to get a hotel, do they have pets, do they have someone who can take care of them, and is that place in a safe zone. All that needs to be done now before the season really gets going,” Goldsmith stated.

In addition to evacuation plans, residents should assemble emergency kits that include essential supplies such as water, food, a first aid kit, flashlights, a generator if possible, and fuel for it.

Goldsmith also highlighted the importance of home maintenance and fortification. “Check your roof, attic, walls, doors, garage doors, carport, and most importantly, make sure you have coverings or some type of protection for your windows,” he advised. Goldsmith noted that the best protection for windows comes from hurricane shutters or plywood, warning against the ineffective use of tape.

“Tape does not protect the windows. The wind will blow them in and once they blow them in, the wind will get into the home. If the wind comes in, it has to go out somewhere. The pressures will first be on the other walls to blow them down, and if not, it will go up to the roof and blow it off, compromising the home,” Goldsmith explained.

With the hurricane season already underway, Brownsville residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts from the City of Brownsville. Odee A. Leal, director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the City of Brownsville, urged all residents to register for “Alert Us,” a free notification service that informs residents of any inclement weather approaching the city.

“We really urge all residents to sign up for Alert Us. The City of Brownsville offers it for free, and it will notify you of any inclement weather that’s coming. Since it’s hurricane season, we strongly encourage all residents to sign up. It’s easy to go to our website Brownsvilletx.gov and register. You can choose what notifications you want to receive,” Leal said.

Hurricane season will run through November 30, 2024. Early and thorough preparation is crucial to ensure the safety and resilience of residents and their homes during this potentially active period.

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