KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 25, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
As Hurricane Laura enters the Gulf of Mexico, the growing storm takes aim for the Texas and Louisiana coast. Galveston, TX is now under mandatory evacuations as forecasters anticipate the disturbance to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall later this week. Local authorities are monitoring the storm and are ready to respond as necessary.
Photo courtesy: Harris County Constable's Office, Precinct 5.
Lesson from Harvey
Three years ago, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston/Katy area. Now, the Harris County Constable’s Office, Precinct 5 is watching another storm develop in the Gulf. They have learned to take added precautions after Harvey’s devastation and they are better prepared to assist during a flood.
13 million people were affected by Hurricane Harvey when it stalled out over the Greater Houston area late August of 2017. The storm was one of the most devastating natural disasters in Texas history.
Boats became essential as Harvey’s water overtook homes, schools, and businesses. Since then, Constable Ted Heap has added four additional rescue boats to their emergency response fleet. The precinct now has two flat bottom rescue boats and two Zodiac inflatables.
“We will be hoping for the best,” says Constable Ted Heap on their official Facebook page. “But want you to know we are prepared for the worst.”
Weather predictions are quickly changing with this storm and everyone in the greater Houston-area, including Katy, needs to be prepared.
Katy ISD Prepares
Katy ISD is also monitoring Hurricane Laura and elevated their readiness level to level 3. This means that key staff are on standby, the District is confirming that all emergency communication systems are working properly, and they are taking precautions with vehicles and buildings just as residents are advised to do. Any outdoor equipment is being moved inside or secured, and anything of value is being secured. All district vehicles are being refueled.
“As of now, we do not anticipate any change to virtual learning this week,” states the District. “Should the weather impact families’ electricity and internet access, teachers will work with students and families to ensure students are not negatively impacted by attendance nor academically.”
Stay informed on any Katy ISD updates on their website.
"Please be weather aware and monitor the weather conditions closely over the next few days," says Fort Bend County Constable Wayne Thompson. "It is always prudent to make sure you have a plan for your people, pets and property. Conditions may worsen over the next 72 hours due to Hurricane Laura. Although there is still uncertainty regarding this hurricane, it is better to prepare now."
Hurricane season goes through November. Whether Hurricane Laura impacts the Katy area or not, it’s important for Katy residents to be prepared.
Here are some simple, easy tips to help prepare your family:
Build an emergency kit. Know your first-aid supplies.
Refill any important medication on time to avoid running out.
Make a family communications plan. Know where to go and meet during a disaster.
Know the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes).
Locate your local emergency shelters.
Closely watch/listen to the weather reports, listening every hour as the storm nears.
Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.
If you leave (evacuate), be alert to flooded or washed-out roads. Just a few inches of water can float a car. Think: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
Keep a photo I.D. that shows your home address. You will need it when asking police if it is okay for you to re-enter your area or home.
Secure your property.
Evacuate all pets to shelters and have vaccination records ready.
Charge portable electronic devices.