While Missouri City stays home during this pandemic, City officials encourage residents to prepare ahead to weather any storms during the 2020 Hurricane Season. As such, City Council Members proclaimed the week of May 3 as “Hurricane Preparedness Week” at their Monday, May 4 Regular Meeting.
While Fort Bend is designated by the State as a pass-through county for evacuees who live along the Gulf Coast, residents are still encouraged to prepare themselves and stay aware of the potential for severe weather that can accompany tropical systems.
“Our Emergency Operations Center is currently active, responding to COVID-19, but we are also prepared for any severe weather incidents including the upcoming Hurricane Season” said Interim City Manager Bill Atkinson. “Staff is also planning for several training activities with all teams and outreach initiatives for the community in preparation for the season.”
Image Courtesy of National Weather Service
To emphasize the importance of preparing before a storm hits, the National Weather Service has designated Sunday, May 3 to Saturday, May 9 as “2020 National Hurricane Preparedness Week”. During this week, MCTX emergency officials encourage residents to:
- Determine Your Risk: Based on your location, find out what types of wind and water hazards could happen in your area and make a plan now on how to handle them.
- Develop an Evacuation Plan: Identify safe locations that are not prone to wind/flood threats that you can shelter in, if there is an evacuation order issued. Remember to account for your pets too, as most local shelters do not permit them. Make sure to put these locations and the plan in writing as well.
- Assemble Disaster Supplies: Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days. Also, remember to include extra cash, battery-powered radios, flashlights, batteries, maps, cell phones, chargers and other important documents.
- Get an Insurance Checkup: Ensure that you have proper insurance coverage for your home, cars and boats. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding; check with your insurance company/agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov now if you think coverage is needed. Flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
- Strengthen Your Home: Make sure to trim trees that are too close to homes ahead of a storm. And, remember to secure loose objects that are outside, move vehicles to a safe location without blocking the streets and board up windows/doors including garage doors with proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels once there is a storm approaching.
- Help Your Neighbor: Check on your neighbors and share the importance of preparing ahead of time, collecting supplies before the storm, assisting with evacuation if needed and checking-in after the storm passes.
- Complete a Written Plan: Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan and share it with your family. Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. Don’t forget to keep all your important documents together for quick access and have photo documentation of all valuables.
In addition, during any disaster, communication between the City and residents is key. Citizens are encouraged to follow the City’s official websites and social media outlets to receive timely, accurate information during any emergency. The two main platforms used by City staff to share real-time information are the MCTX Emergency Management website, www.MissouriCityReady.com and the MCTX Twitter account, Twitter.com/MissouriCityEM. Residents may sign-up to receive alerts via both of these outlets.
EOC officials also stress the importance of keeping a list of informational resources for reference. Recommendations for City residents include:
- Police and Fire Departments: 911 or 281.403.8700
- CenterPoint Energy: 713.207.2222
- American Red Cross – Fort Bend County Branch: 281.342.9480, Greater Houston Branch: 713.526.8300
- Ready Harris (www.readyharris.org); 713.881.3100; the Harris County Office of Emergency Management’s official website.
- Enable Fort Bend (www.enablefortbend.com); 281.238.3514; the agency assists individuals with functional and medical needs during an emergency or disaster.
- MCTV: Comcast Ch. 16; AT&T U-verse Ch. 99
- WQMN – 1690 AM: Emergency advisory radio station
- MCTX Mobile App: Download it in the Apple App store or on Google Play
For more information about Missouri City, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store.)