SPI provides hurricane preparedness resources

Courtesy: National Hurricane Center

From high wind speeds to heavy rainfall, hurricanes are capable of wreaking havoc in communities, especially in areas near the coast.

This month marks the beginning of hurricane season, which means now through November, hurricanes could cause major harm because of storm surge, wind damage, rip currents and flooding.

South Padre Island city officials are reminding the area’s residents, visitors and property owners to plan for this hurricane season.

“We recommend that everyone have an emergency plan in place in the event of a hurricane,” SPI fire chief Jim Pigg stated in a press release. “What you do today could be what keeps you safe tomorrow.”

According to city officials, one of the challenges in preparing for a disaster is knowing how to access information on how to best prepare for hurricanes.

“Planning what to do in advance is an important part of being prepared,” the press release states. “As a coastal community, we all play a part in protecting our residents, visitors and Island.”

Those who live, own a business or property on the Island will need a re-entry sticker for their vehicles to be able to return to the Island in the event of an emergency.

According to the press release, a re-entry sticker does not guarantee re-entry until emergency officials determine conditions are safe for return.

If a storm is within 48 hours of landfall, re-entry stickers will no longer be issued.

To view city forms and items required to get a re-entry sticker, visit www.myspi.org.

According to the press release, people should keep the following things in mind when making their emergency plan — pets, food and water, transportation, a communication plan, medication and first aid, important documents and property vulnerability.

City officials recommend households visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes and www.gov.texas.gov/hurricane to help prepare.

According to the Ready national public service campaign, storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the country.

Property owners are advised to strengthen their home by de-cluttering drains and gutters, bringing in outside furniture and considering hurricane shutters.

Making sure the household has its technology ready is also advised by the campaign.

Cell phones should be kept charged when there’s a hurricane in the forecast and backup charging devices should be purchased to power electronics.

“Awareness and preparation can reduce the impact of hurricane disasters,” the press release states. “Families, individuals and businesses who know their vulnerability and the actions to take to prepare reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.”

ahernandez@valleystar.com