EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — June 1 marks the first day of hurricane season. Officials from Hidalgo County gathered to share their hurricane plans at a regional hurricane preparedness conference on Wednesday.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has predicted this hurricane season to be above average, with the potential of six major hurricanes.
The Cities of McAllen, Pharr, Edinburg, Mission, and Weslaco say they have been preparing. Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez tells ValleyCentral that this kind of preparation happens year-round.
“This is a good way to make sure that we bring awareness to everybody to know and understand that we are going to be here for the people,” Cortez said. ” But we also need people to help themselves and that is to be well informed and know exactly what needs to be done and do it.”
The best way to be prepared is to have an emergency plan for your family and to also prepare your home for severe weather. But the most important preparation is to have plenty of food and water.
“The food banks step up and brings food to the disaster areas but what if we are not able to and you are by yourself for days,” said Antonio Lopez, Weslaco Emergency Manager. “Plan for 4 days with no food, no water so that is you have of stuff that you want to have at home.”
Cities across Hidalgo County have also improved drainage efforts to prevent flooding. However, Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza Jr. tells ValleyCentral there is still room for improvement.
“We have done quite a bit, but we need to do more we are going to continue to do more but the important thing now is that we want to make sure that whatever we do we maximize that investment,” Garza said.
Emergency managers also want residents to be aware of evacuations as hurricane season gets underway.
“We never say never, look what happened in Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Ike in the Houston area and the Coastal Bend area, they all had evacuations,” Lopez said. ” We need to learn from the history and that’s what’s going to make us a better community.”