AUSTIN — Hurricane forecasters predict a slow storm season this summer, but Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is urging coastal homeowners to take the time now and get prepared for the next big one.
“Anyone who lives on the Texas coast knows it’s not if, but when the next storm will come,” Patterson said. “Homeowners who take the time and effort to secure their homes now will save themselves from some big trouble later.”
To help, the Texas General Land Office has published the Texas Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Natural Hazards. The publication is available in both English and Spanish at www.glo.texas.gov/what-we-do/caring-for-the-coast/hurricanes/index.html and was developed in cooperation with the Texas Sea Grant College Program. The book was funded by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program and the Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Management Program.
The guide offers hands-on advice on how to how to protect yourself and your family, how to storm-harden your home, the importance of flood insurance as well as useful web links and disaster preparation checklists.
Patterson urged coastal property owners to look past this year’s predictions of a slow storm season, reminding them “it only takes one.” Since 1900, the Texas Gulf coast has averaged about one major hurricane every three years. Texas leads the nation almost every year in flood-related damage.
“Many Texans are still working to recover from hurricanes Ike and Dolly nearly six years ago,” Patterson said. “But if folks plan properly and take the steps we explain in the Texas Homeowners Handbook — such as strengthening their home and buying insurance — they will be able to recover quickly.”
The Texas Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Natural Hazards is available free as a downloadable Portable Document Format (PDF) file at the Texas General Land Office website at http://www.glo.texas.gov/publication-gallery/publications.php. You can also request a copy by contacting the Texas General Land Office Coastal Resources Division at (512) 475-0773.
Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 and most of the big storms occur from August to October.