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Posted on: June 1, 2018

Preparing for the Storm


Brazos County, TX – Hurricane season began June 1, 2018, and local officials are urging residents to be prepared ahead of any potential storms.

According to the National Hurricane Center, 2017 was the most destructive hurricane season in recorded history, marking the first time three Category 4 storms hit the U.S. in one year.  For us, here in the Brazos Valley, Hurricane Harvey is still a vivid memory, as many of our friends and neighbors are still living with its effects. 

Harvey made landfall near Rockport on August 25, 2017, dumping over four feet of rainwater, and delivering 130 mph winds.  According to FEMA.gov, the Houston area was inundated with the largest amount of rainwater ever recorded in the continental U.S. from one single storm.  More than 122,000 people and 5200 pets had to be rescued.  Around 780,000 Texans evacuated their homes, and some 692 shelters housed people with nowhere else to go.

For all of Harvey’s destruction, the Galveston storm of 1900 remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.  The storm, which hit the bustling port city on September 8, 1900, brought with it 135 mph winds (would be classified a Category 4 storm by today’s standards), and storm surges of 15 feet.  Reports indicate between 6,000 and 12,000 people were killed in this storm (oceanservice.noaa.gov). 

All of this history begs us to be prepared.  Brazos County Emergency Management Coordinator Michele Meade says with emergency situations, it’s not a matter of if, but when

“It’s so important for people to have a plan in place in case of emergency.  In our area, it’s as much about storm season as it is hurricane season.  Making plans of where to go if you need to evacuate, and who to contact so people know you’re safe, are vitally important.  Then, practice your plans so everyone knows what to expect.” 

One thing you can do in preparation is to make sure you are aware of any potential emergencies.  If you’ve signed up for the Brazos County emergency notification system in the past, you’ll want to do so again as it has changed.  This system allows you to receive important information during emergencies only.  It is not used on a regular basis for trivial information.  The system allows you to register your home address, as well as others which may concern you (work, elderly parents, children’s schools), so you can know when there is an emergency at any of those locations.  This system also allows you to register your cell phone number, so you can get the alerts even if you are not at home.

“Some people have expressed a fear that this system is allowing the government too much access.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  This system, instead, allows local emergency management officials an opportunity to share life-saving information,” says Meade. 

You can sign up for the Emergency Notification system at http://brazosceoc.org.  Meade also recommends you check out http://TexasPrepares.org to make a plan, build a kit, and get informed.  Keeping you safe is our goal. 


Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory
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