KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 10, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy officials and residents ask others to take action this Hurricane Preparedness Week. Gather supplies now to keep your family and property safe before a storm heads this way in what experts predict will be another “above average” season.
UPDATE: City of Katy released checklist. See below.
As Katy grows, newcomers enjoy all the great city has to offer, but they also need to heed the warning of local officials and seasoned residents. Hurricane Season officially starts June 1 but already experts are predicting an above average and "dangerous" season.
Local Officials, Katy Residents Urge Everyone to Prepare
“I urge all of you to take action and plan accordingly to protect your families, your property and save lives,” says Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George. “It is predicted that we will have another busy hurricane season, our weather experts estimated that 17 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes will develop this year.”
May 9-15 is Hurricane Preparedness Week and the perfect time to go over supplies, family planning, insurance benefits, and anything else unique to your family to stay safe during a hurricane or tropical storm.
Katy Moms Prep to Protect their Families
“This is so important to me to be prepared to care for my family and kids,” says Katy mom Chancie Davis. “With little ones in the house being prepared helps me to help them cope with stressful situations without the burden of not having essentials.”
The Davis family purchased a home generator last summer to ensure that during power outages they would still be ok. During the pandemic they added to their preparedness supplies by purchasing 5-gallon collapsible water containers to be able to fill with water ahead of a storm.
“Living in Katy it’s not if, but when we will lose power of water,” says Davis. “I want to have confidence that my family is secure.”
“We bought an emergency radio and solar powered cell phone charger after the freeze,” explains Tabitha Floyd. While she bought these items after the freeze, like many Katy families, they will be useful during Hurricane Season.
Katy Government Provides Checklist
The City of Katy has released a helpful checklist the help families plan
2021 Hurricane Season Predictions
The National Weather Service has issued their latest predictions for the upcoming 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins June 1. They predict another above average and potentially “dangerous” season with 18 total named storms, 8 of those being hurricanes and 3 of them being a Category 3 or higher.
It is important to note that this data varies based on which report you view but all data points to an above average season.
The good news is that this would not be as severe as the record breaking 2020 season, which saw 30 named storms, 12 that made landfall in the U.S., and 6 were considered major hurricanes.
However, as their website and marketing material for the season clearly states, “it only takes one storm to change your life.”
The City of Katy and each county has websites/links for Emergency preparedness with resources and where residents can register to stay informed.
Lessons from Harvey
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.
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.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
Katy residents should also consider flood insurance whether if they are in the flood plain or not.
“Most master planned communities, especially those built after 2009, have excellent drainage facilities to protect homes from flooding, living on the coastal plain of Texas makes it important for homeowners to have flood insurance,” says Wendy Duncan, Willow Fork Drainage District Director. “Hurricanes and intense seasonal rains, that can sometimes cause flash flooding, are common in our area.”
The average monthly cost of flood insurance is about $50. For more information visit FloodSmart.gov. or call your insurance provider for information. All flood insurance does go through the government and takes 30 days to go into effect.
A Little Hurricane Season Lesson
If you are new to Katy and new to hurricanes, it is important to understand that the U.S. Hurricane Seasons. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is what impacts Katy and it runs June 1-November 30, with the season’s peek being in August and September.
If you are new to hurricanes or really want to dive into the 2021 season here’s the link for the U.S. Government’s 2021 Hurricane Season Guide.
"What we experienced in the Tax Day flood and especially Harvey was a God event that I hope never happens again," says Katy Mayor Bill Hastings. Yet now is the time to prepare so that residents aren't caught off guard in case a disaster forms.”