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This year’s hurricane plans

Whether this hurricane season will be active or not, local authorities are planning for the worst.

Harris County officials said Monday they are as prepared as they can be for hurricane season, which begins June 1.

The key question, they said, is whether local residents have taken appropriate precautions.

“The government can only do so much,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who is facing his first hurricane season as the county’s chief executive. “The first person you must turn to is yourself. Individuals have to make sure they’re prepared.”

Area residents must recognize whether they live in one of four zones, delineated by ZIP codes, that might be placed under a mandatory evacuation order because of a storm surge, officials said.

An estimated 300,000 people in Harris County live in the surge zones.

The map is here (PDF). Note that the vast majority of the mandatory evacuation areas are outside of Harris County. Indeed, while 300,000 people sounds like a lot, it’s less than ten percent of the total population.

On a related note, anyone remember the executive order from last year that mandated a single “incident commander” for each of the state’s 24 regions to be in charge of things like hurricane evacuations? And remember the response from local officials, which did not please the Governor? Well, SciGuy remembers, and he gives an update on how things look today. Check it out.

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  1. Jeb says:

    That zone map with zip codes for evacuations is a good start. Hopefully it will minimize the chaos that we saw in H. Rita. However, it doesn’t appear to include some of the areas that flooded during TS Allison.

    As for SciGuy’s criticism of the Committee of 15. I suspect that during an event, the first thing that the Committee will do will be to elect a lead based on the jurisdiction(s) most affected. After all, if an incident is in Galveston, what can Montgomery do except open shelters and send resources when requested?

  2. Justin says:

    Did they get rid of the certain areas evacuate using certain routes plan?