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Posted on: August 25, 2020

Township monitoring Hurricane Laura; take precautions now

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (August 25, 2020) – The Woodlands Township is currently monitoring Hurricane Laura and strongly urges residents to prepare today.

Township Chairman Gordy Bunch urges residents to keep a close eye on this storm because its track still remains unclear.

“Get prepared today,” Chairman Bunch said. “All experts just do not know precisely where this storm will go.”

The Woodlands Township’s Fire Department and Parks system is on full alert and ready to activate as needed for The Woodlands. Additionally, Montgomery County is a pass-through county, which allows coastal residents to safely evacuate through our county.

Hurricane Laura is now forecast to become a major hurricane over the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday. This very dangerous hurricane is forecast to make landfall on the upper Texas Coast or far Southwest Louisiana. Based off of aircraft data, Tropical Storm Laura has now become Hurricane Laura with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. A Hurricane Watch has been issued along the upper Texas Coastline down to San Luis Pass. This includes the areas around Galveston Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for much of Southeast Texas down to Freeport. A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the coast areas down to San Luis Pass. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Laura will strengthen significantly prior to landfall early Thursday morning. This could mean a Category 3 hurricane or higher with impacts far from landfall.

According to Montgomery County, there is not a mandatory evacuations due to the distance from the coastline of Texas.

PREPARING BEFORE A HURRICANE

Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup. If available order a 60 or 90 day supply to have on hand.
  • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including potential shelters for your pets.
  • If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap if not available and two cloth face coverings for each person. Face covers should not be used by children under the age of 2. They also should not be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
  • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

STAY SAFE AFTER A HURRICANE

In addition to following guidance for staying safe and healthy after a hurricane, note that:

  • You should continue to use preventive actions like washing your hands and wearing a face covering during clean up or when returning home.
  • It may take longer than usual to restore power and water if they are out. Take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning if you use a generator.
  • If you are injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Keep wounds clean to prevent infection. Remember, accessing medical care may be more difficult than usual during the pandemic.
  • Dealing with disasters can cause stress and strong emotions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural to feel anxiety, grief, and worry. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover.
  • People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration page.

STAY INFORMED

  • Fuel vehicles and generators now.
  • Know where important documents are and take pictures of your property for insurance purposes.
  • If you live in an evacuation zone (Zip Zone) and will need assistance evacuating for a storm that threatens our region, now is the time to call 2-1-1 or go online to register for assistance.

The Woodlands Township encourages residents to prepare for expected impacts from the storm. Residents are also advised to follow several precautions:

  •  Stay connected with The Woodlands Township for the most current updates via its website (www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov) or its emergency notification system (www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/notifyme) or through the Township’s social media channels.
  • Do not drive into high water; water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards.
  • Stay home during the heavy rainfall and wind.
  • Remove any objects outside your home that could float away and obstruct storm drains; this includes trash and recycling containers, or any items that could become airborne in high winds.
  • Review your family’s emergency plan, including what you will do if you stay or if you evacuate.
    • Remember to take into account that social distancing; regular hand washing and face coverings are still needed for COVID-19.
    • If you live in an evacuation zone (Zip Zone) and will need assistance evacuating for a storm that threatens our region, now is the time to call 2-1-1 or go online to register for assistance.
  • Make sure your disaster kit is fully stocked, with enough supplies for each family member, including pets.
    • Do not forget about special items for babies, elderly and medically fragile family members.

For more emergency preparedness tips and information specific to The Woodlands, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/getready or www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/emergency.

For more information on The Woodlands Township government, please call 281-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.

Devastating Tropical Storm to Hurricane force winds are expected in a broad area from the Sabine River to south of Galveston Island. Hurricane, Tropical Storm, and Storm Surge watches have already been issued for much of upper Texas coast, extending well north of Livingston.

Residents should expect additional watches and warnings to be issued over the next two days.

NOW is the time to take action. Follow life-safety instructions from the National Weather Service and local officials.

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