2010 HURRICANE READINESS ADDRESSED BY HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE EMMETT, HOUSTON MAYOR PARKER
June 1, 2010 -- As June 1 is the first day of the 2010 hurricane season, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, both working in a joint effort to help ensure the metropolitan area is ready for this year’s hurricane season, today urged Houston and Harris County residents to remember four important steps: Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Stay Informed and Know Your Neighbor.
- Make a Plan – before a hurricane hits, families should determine if they are in an immediate flood zone and will need to evacuate, how to contact one another and where to meet in case of separation. Those who might be unsure whether their home can withstand hurricane force winds should locate nearby shelters such as a local church, workplace or neighborhood school for protection.
- Build a Kit – food, water, first-aid kits and other supplies to last three days should be on hand.
- Stay Informed – residents should find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in their areas and how to best prepare for each one.
- Know Your Neighbor – neighbors should talk about preparedness to be sure everyone has a plan and, if necessary, register for transportation assistance.
“Every year on June 1 we remind citizens to prepare for any disaster that might come our way, but particularly prepare for hurricanes,” said Mayor Parker. “The City of Houston and Harris County have done a great job working together in the past during these natural disasters, and we intend to continue this precedence, but the other part of the equation is our citizens.”
“Harris County and Houston remain among the best-prepared metropolitan areas in the country for responding to natural or man-made disasters,” said Judge Emmett. “A number of ‘experts’ have predicted an unusually high number of hurricanes this year, but I would remind our residents that it only takes one to devastate a community. Mayor Parker and I will continue to work together to ensure our community is prepared, and we urge everyone to make sure they and their families are, too.”
Residents who may need transportation assistance during an emergency evacuation are encouraged to register with the Emergency Transportation Assistance Registry with the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM). All persons who have registered for transportation assistance in previous years must re-register for assistance in 2010. Individuals who register for emergency transportation assistance are asked to report any special medical needs at the time of registration to ensure that proper care can be provided during an evacuation. This information is kept confidential and shared only if the registrant may require imminent evacuation or assistance. The transportation assistance registry is not strictly for persons with special needs. Anyone who does not have the means to evacuate on their own during a disaster or emergency situation may register for assistance.
To register for transportation assistance, individuals may choose from the following options:
- Online registration forms are available on the official City of Houston OEM Web site, www.houstonoem.net - click on the “Transportation Assistance” tab, complete the form and submit your information.
- Paper registration forms are mailed to individuals who registered in 2009. Each individual in need of assistance must again complete the form and mail it to Houston OEM.
- Call Houston OEM directly at 713-884-4500.
- Dial 2-1-1, the Texas/United Way Helpline, and follow the instructions provided.
For more information and helpful tools for disaster preparedness, go to www.readyhoustontx.gov.