Officials: Texas Ready For Hurricane Season
By Era Sundar
The 2012 hurricane season begins today, and a showcase at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport this morning highlighted how prepared Texas is for a natural disaster.
The event, organized by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, featured emergency response planes, helicopters, and other technology. Different state agencies were on hand to raise public awareness and show off their toys.
“I’ve said it every chance I get, especially since last year: If all hell’s going to break loose, send me to Texas because we know how to do it and we do it right,” said Tom Boggus, the director of the Texas Forest Service. “And we learn every time.”
Although large-scale federal and state emergency responses were the focus of the event, Gov. Rick Perry said that the most important part of hurricane readiness is personal preparation.
“Whether it’s getting a packet together of life-saving goods — water, food and flashlights and things you’re going to need when the power and the other resources and utilities fail — it’s about being prepared with an evacuation plan ahead of time,” Perry said.
2011 was an especially busy year for hurricanes, with 19 named storms. Forecasters are predicting a calmer season this year.
The last major hurricane to rip through Texas was Hurricane Ike in 2008. It was the costliest ever to hit the state.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.