Hundreds get ready this hurricane season

·2 min read

Jul. 29—The City of Brownsville distributed sandbags on Thursday to hundreds of Brownsville residents who are getting ready for this hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30.

The city distributed sandbags at the Morningside and Monte Bella parks starting at 10 a.m. with a limit of 8 bags for homes and 10 for businesses.

Odee Leal, emergency management director with The City of Brownsville, said the National Weather Service released the 2021 Atlantic Season Outlook for this year and is predicting a busy season. She said she recommends that people have an emergency plan that includes all family members.

"Having an emergency plan can save you and your loved one's money, peace of mind and most importantly your life," she said.

"Complete a plan and make sure that everyone in your household understands it by holding a family meeting."

Leal advices the following:

— Discuss where you will evacuate to if the need arises

— Notify your loved ones of your plan

— Know your emergency routes

— Ensure your assets are protected

— Make a plan to protect your vehicles

— Assess your home for vulnerable areas and secure it

— Make a plan for your pets

— Sign up for emergency alerts

— Have a disaster kit ready and make sure to include items that will keep you and your family safe in case of a mandatory evacuation

— Plan for household members with disabilities. If anyone in your home has special medical needs, or is vulnerable in an emergency make proper arrangements prior to a disaster by registering with 2-1-1

— Follow the latest CDC guidelines as you prepare

Leal said she also advises the community to have a "Hurricane Go Kit" which includes water for days, non perishable packed food for at least three days, battery-operated radio to hear the news, flashlight, first-aid kit, trash bags, minor tools, manual can opener, cellphone battery back ups, kennel for pets in case you have to evacuate somewhere and any prescription medicines needed for days.

"We are living in a life right now that everything is electronic. Every child has an iPad, a phone, and with no electricity how are they going to charge that iPad, how are they going to keep them entertained and not bored?" she said.

"Having board games to keep them entertained will be perfect for them."

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted there will be 13 to 20 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

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