Since 2021, every September has been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as National Preparedness Month to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. For Texans, this month can also serve as a reminder that it is very much still hurricane season and coastal Texans should ensure they have a disaster plan ready.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th every year, and the 2023 season was predicted to be less active than previous years primarily due to the high probability of an El Nino weather pattern to develop after three consecutive hurricane seasons with La Nina present. However, while El Nino can suppress hurricane activity, there is still significant activity in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico this year that those living in coastal areas should continue to monitor.
FEMA urges coastal citizens to stay prepared and alert as hurricane season continues. “It only takes one hurricane to cause widespread devastation and upend lives,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell in a May 25th media briefing. “Regardless of the number of storms predicted this season, it is critical that everyone understands their risk and heeds the warnings of state and local officials.”
To stay prepared and ready throughout hurricane season, FEMA has several tips:
- Make an emergency plan and make sure that everyone in your household knows and understands it.
- Know your evacuation zone. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with your household and pets, and identify where you will stay in advance.
- Create a go bag with enough supplies for your household including medication, disinfectant, and pet supplies to last for several days after evacuation.
- Have several ways to receive warnings and alerts related to storms, including signing up for community alerts in your area and being aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
Texas Sea Grant also has a program page dedicated to more resources for hurricane preparedness, including links to informational videos and a comprehensive list of further resources.
Texas Shorelines is a service of the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University. Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 34 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.