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While there are no sure ways to predict when and where a hurricane will come ashore in Texas, both cities and counties have emergency managers whose job is to prepare the community and its citizens for these storms and other disasters. For answers to specific questions you may have concerning hurricanes and preparing for them, contact your local Emergency Management Office.
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Look at the color-coded map to find out. It shows the areas at risk from winds and storm surge associated with hurricanes. There are five of these risk areas, each shown in a different color and each corresponding to one of the five categories of hurricanes on the Saffir/Simpson Scales. The stronger the storm, the greater the inland impact will be and the more risk areas affected.
Your local officials will tell you. During a Hurricane Watch, listen to your radio or television constantly. Emergency officials can interrupt routine broadcasts to give special weather updates, warning messages, and evacuation information. To receive this information, tune to:
For 24-hour weather broadcasts from the National Weather Service, tune to NOAA Weather Radio on the high-band FM frequency 162.55 megahertz (MHz) that broadcasts from Galveston, 162.40 MHz that broadcasts from Houston, or 162.425 MHz that broadcasts from Bay City.
Prepare by doing the following:
Arrange beforehand with friends or family to help you evacuate. If you have no one to turn to or you have special needs, get in touch with your local officials now. They need to know who you are, where you live, and what kind of help you need so they can be ready to provide aid when a storm threatens.
That depends on the size of the storm and the number of people who evacuate. the chart on the reverse side will give you an idea, but keep in mind the times shown are only estimates. They assume that all evacuation routes are open and only show the time needed to move all traffic inland just beyond the threatened risk areas. It will take longer to reach a shelter location or your final destination.
Also, keep in mind, if the chart shows 10 hours, officials won't wait until the storm is 10 hours from landfall to begin an evacuation. Remember, the goal is to get everyone out of the threatened area before evacuation routes become impassable or unsafe due to flooding or high winds. This will happen when the storm is still many hours away from landfall. So, don't be surprised if there are no clouds and the sun is shining when local officials tell you to evacuate. Follow their instructions; your health and safety are their main concern.
Inland, away from the coast. Use the evacuation routes shown on this map. Most of these roads are marked with blue hurricane evacuation signs. If you have friends or family at an inland location, arrange beforehand to stay with them. If you plan to stay in a hotel or motel, make reservations prior to departure to ensure you have a room. Cities and towns along the main evacuation routes may open public shelters, but these will be crowded and the creature comforts, limited. If you need to use a public shelter, listen to your radio as you are evacuating to find out where shelters are open.