Hurricane Season Starts June 1, 2021
Hurricane season in Texas starts June 1st and ends November 30th. Meteorologists predict this year may be more active than usual, so it is critical you and your family make a preparedness plan now! Even if you don’t live in a hurricane zone, Texas weather can be wild and unpredictable– it is never too early to review your family’s preparedness plan for tornadoes, wildfires, and other weather-related disasters. Reviewing and updating your emergency kit will help make sure you’re not caught off guard if disaster strikes. Personal preparedness is especially critical for people with disabilities; to that end, the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) has gathered resources for disaster planning below.
Emergency Preparedness and People with Disabilities
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) encourages all Texans to visit ready.gov, which includes personal preparedness tips for all types of man-made and natural disasters. The disability page includes tips on building a disability-specific emergency kit, as well as:
- checklists for emergency communication plans;
- emergency preparedness videos in open-captioning and American Sign Language (ASL); and
- Instructions on converting to electronic benefits in order to mitigate disruptions following a disaster.
Communication and evacuation plans are especially important– if you complete these, you’re more likely to have a robust emergency plan and feel comfortable knowing you will know what to do when the time comes!
Emergency Preparedness Webinars
GCPD has hosted multiple webinars on emergency preparedness and people with disabilities. Below are three webinars that may be especially helpful.
Inclusive Emergency Planning and Personal Preparedness, hosted by Dawn Skaggs. This webinar identifies inclusive emergency planning, their importance to people with disabilities, and strategies for ensuring your community’s emergency plans cover the entire community. Ms. Skaggs also highlights key strategies for everyone to become personally prepared and disaster resilient.
Disaster Preparedness and Family Members with Disabilities, hosted by Elizabeth Hong. This one hour webinar covers strategies for creating emergency plans that meet the unique needs of your family. While emergency planning checklists are incredible tools, it is also important to keep in mind the specific needs of your family!
Preparing for the Unexpected: Preparing Individuals with Disabilities for Disasters, hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Christin Bradley of FEMA Region 6 walks attendees through important preparedness tips for specific disabilities, such as blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, and cognitive disabilities.
The Texas Hurricane Center provides simple tips for before, during, and after a hurricane as well as an extensive list of other resources from the state and federal government. Remember, the best thing you can do for your family is plan ahead!