AUSTIN, Texas -- The 2007 hurricane season starts in six weeks, and forecasters say this hurricane season could be nearly as destructive as 2005, the worst on record. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) remind Texans to begin their emergency preparations now.
The FEMA publication Are You Ready? offers free assistance in planning and preparing for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30.
"State and local emergency personnel will respond quickly to the scene of a disaster," said Frank Cantu, state coordinator for response and recovery at GDEM. "If individuals and families do their part by planning ahead, they will be better prepared before, during and after a hurricane."
The 200-page guide to disaster preparedness can be used as a reference source or as a step-by-step manual on how to get informed about local emergency plans, how to identify local hazards, and how to develop an emergency communication plan and build a disaster supplies kit. Other topics include evacuation, emergency public shelters, and protecting people with disabilities.
"As we continue the recovery from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, I urge everyone to take the time to learn what you can do to prepare for the next one," said Sandy Coachman, director for FEMA's Texas Transitional Recovery Office. "Now's the time to take personal responsibility."
To download Are You Ready? in English or Spanish, log on to www.fema.gov/areyouready/. For large quantities, organizations may reprint the publication. To order a single hard copy, call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-480-2520.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.