Hurricane Preparedness Starts With You

A child points at "you." Mayor Parker wants citizens to "recognize that they have a role to play." [stock.xchng photo]
Hurricane season officially starts this Saturday and the City of Houston and Harris County will hold a joint event to help local residents prepare. Local leaders say the government is ready — but citizens have to do their part too.

The message from local officials is you need to get ready. A busier than normal hurricane season is in the forecast and there's only so much your government officials can do.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says the City of Houston does the same amount of preparation and planning whether a busy or light season is forecasted.

"From the government side, we know how to handle a hurricane. What is important is that citizens recognize that they have a role to play and they prepare in just the same way that the government does."

To that end, the city will co-host a Hurricane Workshop for the public this Saturday at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Parker says people need to have non-perishable food, water, and medications on hand, and also make sure they know what action to take in the event of a storm.

"You need to know, and you should know today, whether you are in a likely evacuation zone or whether you are in a shelter-in-place zone. Almost the entire City of Houston, if you are legally in the City of Houston, is a shelter-in-place zone. But many areas of Harris County and the far east/southeast side of Houston may be in an evacuation zone. You need to know that."

Parker says even people who shelter in place during a storm may want to leave town in the aftermath of a hurricane and should have an evacuation plan in place for such a scenario.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...