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Prepping for Hurricane Season in Texas

Hurricane season is dangerous in any state in the country. Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, you should be even more vigilant about your hurricane preparation if you live in Texas. Hurricane season in Texas is from June through November, but it’s important to know the proper ways to prepare your home and family at all times throughout the year. Here’s how you can keep your home, property, and family safe during this period of potentially catastrophic weather.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

1) Review Your Current Insurance and Consider Getting Storm Insurance

When you move to a place that experiences frequent storms, especially dangerous ones like hurricanes, you should review your current home insurance to make sure you are educated on what is covered by your policy. You may also want to consider expanding your policy or purchasing storm insurance.

2) Secure and Seal Your Roof to Prevent Leaks

Before storm season hits, make sure you invest in the “health” of your roof. Invest in roof sealants to protect your roof from leaks, and ensure that you are getting your roof regularly checked so there are no surprises come hurricane season.

3) Seal Your Windows and Doors

Another tip for preparing your home for hurricanes is to seal up your windows and doors. If you feel a draft from either of these areas, that means water and damaging winds could get through. Seal up this susceptibility as soon as possible.

4) Clear Your Lawn

While your lawn may be landscaped to perfection, you may need to bring in those cute cushioned lawn chairs and decorations. In a large wind from a hurricane, these things can be thrown about and wreak havoc on your home.

5) Reinforce Your Garage Door or Secure Your Car Port

If you have a garage or a carport, that can be a liability during a storm. Make sure that if you have a garage, you reinforce your garage door to avoid it being torn off by heavy winds. The same goes for a carport or even a covered porch. Secure the carport to the side of your house and make sure all columns attached to it are firmly in the ground.

Hurricane Season IS HERE

Like many coastal towns in South Texas, McAllen is not immune from hurricanes. Each year the residents of McAllen are on the lookout for these tremendous storms which could devastate the coastal bend. Whether you’re planning a weekend to the beach or an evacuation, it’s important to stay informed during hurricane season and be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. This broad period extends essentially for the entirety of summer with peak hurricane weather occurring from August through late October. It’s important to stay vigilant during the summer as we know hurricanes are a very dangerous natural disaster.

We are all aware of what happened to south Texas last summer. Hurricane Harvey rocked the coastal bend leaving destruction and carnage for the citizens to clean up. Many fled to San Antonio and McAllen for refuge. This is a year that McAllen was fortunate. However, we cannot expect that same outcome in the future.

On average, a typical hurricane season will produce 12 tropical storms in the Atlantic basin which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Of these 12 tropical storms, roughly half will reach the level of hurricane status. To be considered a hurricane, the wind speed must reach 74 miles per hour.

It’s important to stay plugged into news sources that cover weather in your local area. Hurricanes are typically slow-moving storms that give you plenty of time to prepare for if you’re informed. The good news is you can completely avoid the storm altogether if you have the proper notice.

Creating and implementing a plan with the family about how to evacuate the residency will give you an advantage if a hurricane is approaching. If you plan on toughing it out at home during the storm, you need to have certain supplies as the storm could last for several days. Having a survival kit with nonperishable food items is key. Often overlooked, it’s also imperative to have enough water for each person. Other items include a battery-powered radio to stay informed during the storm, medical kit, important personal documents, and battery powered lights or candles.
While there’s no telling if this is the year that McAllen or a city in the Rio Grande Valley will be struck by a severe storm this hurricane season, there is always a significant chance. It’s best to be prepared and get to enjoy the summer without worry rather than try to manufacture a plan as the hurricane makes its way towards you and loved ones.

Healthcare Facilities in McAllen And Surrounding Areas Are Preparing For Hurricane Season

As you probably know, hurricane season is slowly approaching. Last year, Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas in August 2017. During this catastrophe, no one was prepared for the destruction that would take place. However, this year the situation is quite different – and people are more prepared than ever before.

The hurricane season in Texas begins June 1st and continues through November. According to the National Hurricane Center, the most vulnerable areas are the ones around the Gulf and Atlantic Coast – all due to their topographical makeup and heavy population.

This certainly includes the major cities in Texas, but also areas like McAllen, Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley. During the annual National Hurricane Preparedness Week, many officials urge individuals to get ready and prepare for the hurricane season. Some of the key things to have in mind include:

  • Creating a plan for your family
  • Having an emergency kit
  • Preparing to evacuate (both your home and vehicle)
  • Creating evacuation routes

Still, the biggest focus this year when it comes to the hurricane season – is put on the healthcare facilities that are expected to work full-steam from June to November. Currently, the city of McAllen, Texas, as well as the surrounding cities, are all gathering resources, organizing themselves and preparing plans that will help us all tackle what Mother Nature has in store for us this year.

According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, early preparation is what makes the difference between life and death when hurricanes (like last year’s Harvey) occur. As he stated:

“The impending hurricane season presents the potential for powerful storms and dangerous conditions across the state that could endanger lives and cause extensive damage — something many Texans have already endured this year. I encourage all residents to be mindful of the dangers, closely monitor weather warnings in their areas and always comply with evacuation orders issued by local officials.”

If you or someone you know needs assistance during a disaster this hurricane season, make sure to register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR). To do that, contact 211 Texas, the states’ free helpline or dial 877-541-7905 for community resources no matter where you live in Texas.

Get Hurricane Insurance

Many in Texas and other coastal states choose to get hurricane and storm insurance. This is especially vital if you live close to the water. Storm insurance is often added to your standard home or car policy. Even though it’s an add-on insurance product, it should be taken very seriously. Make sure you purchase a policy that is adequate to cover the loss of your property. Take photos and make a list of everything of value that you would need to replace in the event of a storm.

Hurricane insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for damages or losses caused by hurricanes. A hurricane is a severe tropical storm that is characterized by strong winds, heavy rain, storm surges, and flooding. Hurricane insurance can help protect homeowners, renters, and businesses from the financial impact of hurricane-related damage.

Hurricane insurance policies typically cover damage to a building’s structure, as well as its contents, caused by hurricanes, tropical storms, and other wind-related events. The coverage can include damage caused by wind, rain, hail, and storm surges, and may also cover additional living expenses if the policyholder is forced to relocate due to the damage.

It’s important to note that hurricane insurance is often a separate policy or endorsement that is added to a standard homeowners, renters, or commercial property insurance policy. The coverage and premiums for hurricane insurance can vary depending on the specific location and level of risk for hurricanes in the area.

Preparing for an Imminent Storm

If you are on hurricane alert or a hurricane warning in your area, you should read up on how you can prepare. Make sure you secure all windows and doors in your home with thick plywood or hurricane shutters. Buy enough non-perishable food and clean water to make sure you can survive a longer stay-at-home order. Store extra water for sanitation purposes as well. You should also make an at-home first aid kit in case of emergency. You may also want to purchase a generator for your home. If you live on a property that can accommodate it.

Preparing for a hurricane can help you and your loved ones stay safe and minimize damage to your property. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for a hurricane:

  1. Stay informed: Monitor the weather reports and any alerts or warnings issued by local authorities. Follow their instructions for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  2. Create a disaster preparedness plan: Make a plan with your family or household members for what to do in the event of a hurricane, including where to go, what to bring, and how to communicate with each other.
  3. Stock up on emergency supplies: Have a stockpile of emergency supplies, such as food, water, batteries, flashlights, and first aid supplies. Make sure you have enough supplies to last for several days.
  4. Protect your property: Install storm shutters or board up windows and doors to protect against high winds and flying debris. Secure loose objects outside that could become projectiles in high winds.
  5. Have important documents and valuables ready to go: Keep important documents, such as insurance policies, passports, and birth certificates, in a waterproof and portable container. Have a plan for how to transport valuables or sentimental items.
  6. Evacuate if necessary: Follow the instructions of local authorities and evacuate if you are in a mandatory evacuation zone. Bring your emergency supplies and important documents with you.
  7. Stay safe during the storm: Stay inside and away from windows and doors. If you lose power, use generators or other fuel-powered devices outside and away from windows and doors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Preparing for a hurricane can take some time and effort, but it can help you and your loved ones stay safe and minimize damage to your property.

Don’t Be Scared. Be Prepared.

Living in the coastal bend, hurricanes are not an uncommon occurrence during hurricane season. Hurricane season starts on June 1st each year and lasts until November 30th.

Hurricanes are enormous, spiraling storms that can let loose more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain per day and can reach winds speeds of 160 miles per hour. Hurricanes are formed by warm, moist air in combination with warm water. These storms can have a significant impact on individuals, communities, animals, and the environment. Although hurricanes can be beneficial to our oceans and to coral reefs by breaking them down and allowing for new ones to grow, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the ocean, along with rapid salinity changes, can result in vast amounts of dead fish, turtles, oysters, and crabs. The high currents can also cause oil pipelines to break, displace a large amount of sand on the seabed, and relocate shipwrecks.

Strengthen Community Resilience

Some scientists believe that global warming has and will continue to play a large role in hurricanes forming. The latest research suggests that more hurricanes are yet to come, along with higher wind speeds, increased precipitation, and bigger storm surges. Due to global warming, fresh water is warming, sea levels are rising, and ice is melting. It is averaged that sea levels are expected to rise by 1-4 feet during the next century, which is believed will help boost storm surges. Although there is no definite way to prevent a hurricane, there are a number of ways a community can help strengthen their resilience and lessen the impact of a hurricane by:

  • Preserving coastal wetlands to absorb storm surges
  • Replenishing beaches and improve infrastructure, such as seawalls
  • Raising vulnerable buildings to lessen flood damage
  • Constructing structures to be resilient to any flying debris and high winds
  • Acting out policies that discourage development in highly vulnerable areas

Know Where to Go

Depending on the strength of the storm, a mandatory evacuation can be put in place by local officials. Some people choose to evacuate voluntarily, while others prefer to wait out the storm in their own homes. Families should have a plan in place if they are forced to leave their homes behind such as:

  • Check local evacuation routes before leaving home
  • Make arrangements to stay with family, friends, or at a hotel
  • Listen to local news and radio stations for continuous updates on weather conditions
  • Make a supply kit for emergencies with items such as water, food, flashlights, batteries, money, clothes, personal identification, social security cards, as well as necessary medications. (This applies to evacuations and non-evacuations)

Preparing Your Home

There are also ways one can get prepare their home for a hurricane whether they choose to evacuate their home or not.

  • Covering all windows and doors with hurricane shutters or boards to help prevent damage from flying debris
  • Staying indoors and away from all windows and doors
  • Head and foot bolts can be placed on doors for extra protection
  • Designate a safe room; preferably a room with no windows

Hurricane Harvey and PRICE Gouging: Who Can You Trust?

If you have turned on the TV in the last two weeks, you would have almost certainly seen coverage on Hurricane Harvey. “[Harvey] is an active tropical cyclone that is causing unprecedented and catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas. It is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year period with no major hurricanes making landfall in the United States. Harvey is also the first hurricane to hit the state of Texas since Ike in 2008, and the strongest to hit the state since Carla in 1961. In addition, it is the strongest hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Hurricane Rita in 2005 and the strongest to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004. It joined Matthew as one of only two U.S. hurricanes to cause an extreme wind warning to be issued, indicating “tornado-like winds” within the storm including isolated tornadoes.

The eighth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Harvey developed from a tropical wave to the east of the Lesser Antilles, reaching tropical storm status on August 17. The storm crossed through the Windward Islands on the following day, passing just south of Barbados and later near Saint Vincent. Upon entering the Caribbean Sea, Harvey began to weaken due to moderate wind shear and degenerated into a tropical wave north of Colombia early on August 19. The remnants were monitored for regeneration as it continued west-northwestward across the Caribbean and the Yucatán Peninsula, before redeveloping over the Bay of Campeche on August 23. Harvey then began to rapidly intensify on August 24, regaining tropical storm status and becoming a hurricane later that day. While the storm moved generally northwestwards, Harvey’s intensification phase stalled slightly overnight from August 24–25, however, Harvey soon resumed strengthening and became a category 4 hurricane late on August 25. Hours later, Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, at peak intensity.[1]”

There have been reports that Store Owners in Corpus Christi, TX and other hurricane-affected areas have been gouging prices on survival essential items, like canned food and water. Texas law prohibits businesses from charging exorbitant prices for gasoline, food, water, clothing, and lodging during declared disasters. The Texas Governor declared a disaster early in the Hurricane Harvey Destruction.

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office received more than 75 consumer grievances related to Hurricane Harvey price gouging from Thursday to Friday, as reported by the Houston Chronicle Friday.

There were photos taken of the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Corpus Christi, TX that was trying to sell cases of water for $42/ case. If you have evidence of a store committing the crime of price gouging, please report the crime to AG Ken Paxton’s office.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Harvey

Hurricane Aftercare

After a hurricane has blown through your area, it’s important to take stock of everything that has been damaged. After you do this, you should contact the insurance provider through whom you have storm coverage. If you need help navigating the process or believe that you were not paid out adequately for the damage you incurred, you can contact an experienced insurance attorney in your area.

After a hurricane, it’s important to take certain steps to ensure your safety and start the recovery process. Here are some steps to take for hurricane aftercare:

  1. Stay informed: Continue to monitor local news and follow the instructions of local authorities for any recovery efforts, such as debris removal or curfews.
  2. Assess the damage: Take photos or videos of any damage to your property and contact your insurance company to report the damage and start the claims process.
  3. Make any necessary repairs: Repair any damage to your property as soon as possible to prevent further damage or safety hazards.
  4. Avoid dangerous areas: Avoid standing water, downed power lines, and other hazardous areas until they have been cleared by authorities.
  5. Check on your neighbors: Check on your neighbors, particularly elderly or vulnerable individuals, to ensure their safety and offer assistance if needed.
  6. Document any expenses: Keep track of any expenses related to the hurricane, such as repairs or emergency supplies, as they may be covered by insurance or eligible for tax deductions.
  7. Seek support: If you are experiencing emotional distress or trauma as a result of the hurricane, seek support from friends, family, or mental health professionals.

Recovering from a hurricane can be a long and challenging process, but taking these steps can help you stay safe and start the recovery process as soon as possible.

Contact Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. at 361.882.4357

Our firm is equipped with over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases across Texas. Our outstanding record of favorable settlements and verdicts includes over 20,000 successfully resolved cases. Once we take on a case, we are relentless, and you can rely on us to pursue full compensation for you.