June 2011  

Hurricane Season is Here
Hurricane season is here and runs through November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) anticipates a busy season. NOAA predicts that hurricane activity will be more severe than usual this year, with the potential landfall of three to six major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater) with winds of at least 111 mph. Another respected forecast, from Colorado State University, puts the chance of at least one major hurricane hitting along the U.S. coastline this season at 72 percent.

Hurricane Season is Here

Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) urges everyone to prepare now by creating a kit, making a plan and staying informed throughout hurricane season. 

Your emergency supply kit should include:
NOAA weather radio and batteries
Flashlight and batteries

Extra eye glasses

Bottled water
Non-perishable food
Copies of prescriptions
Special products for babies, elderly and medically fragile family members
Cash and credit cards
Photo ID, important documents and records

If you live in an area threatened by storm surge – an evacuation zone – discuss evacuation plans with your family.  Click here to view the zip code-based evacuation map located on the OHSEM website to see if your home is located in an evacuation zone.  If an evacuation is called, you will need to know if your home is in one of the zones that are being evacuated. 

Make sure your home insurance policy provides coverage for everything you need.  If you live in an area prone to flooding, tornadoes or hurricanes, your standard homeowner’s policy may require additional policies to cover flooding and wind damage.

Make a checklist of preparations to be made before an evacuation and go over it with your family.  Review it again when a storm is in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you plan to stay in a hotel or motel, make reservations and confirm your reservations before you leave.  If you plan to stay in a shelter, bring what you need to be comfortable, including bedding and toys for kids. 

Prepare an emergency kit for your pets and have a plan for how to care for them when you are on the road and in a shelter or motel.  Do not leave your pets behind.

Finally, stay informed by monitoring the news media.  Local officials will provide information about current conditions, evacuations and re-entry. 

Get more hurricane preparedness information at OHSEM’s web site www.hcoem.org and at the Texas Division of Emergency Management http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/pages/weather_aware_hurricane.htm.

Disaster Animal Management Task Force Holds Crate Drive

The Harris County Disaster Animal Management Task Force is holding a Pet Disaster Crate Drive through June 30th.  You can donate a new or gently used pet crate of any size to one of the four locations listed below.  Crates are needed during times of disaster to assist pet owners with evacuation and sheltering, and for temporary housing of lost, forgotten, or injured pets after the disaster. 

In the fall of 2006, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act. The PETS Act ensures that state and local emergency preparedness plans address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.  In order to board a state certified evacuation bus with owners, each animal must have a crate, leash, and be current on all vaccinations.  Disaster shelters for pets also require that each pet have an individual crate.  You can donate a crate to any of the following locations:

Houston SPCA
900 Portway Drive, Houston, TX 77024
Monday through Friday: 11 am to 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm

HCPHES Veterinary Public Health
612 Canino Rd., Houston, TX  77076
HCPHES Veterinary Public Health Homepage or www.countypets.com
Monday through Friday: 1 pm – 5:50 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 4 pm

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center
20634 Kenswick Dr., Humble, TX 77338
Open daily 8 am – 4:30 pm

Burroughs Park
9738 Huffsmith Rd., Tomball, TX  77375
Open daily 7 am - dark

For more information on the crate drive, call the Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722, extension 138.