Just 10 months after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas last August, as of June 1, the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is already underway. However, many Montgomery County residents are still working to recover from the 2017 season.
Colorado State University issued its annual forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and Landfall Strike Probability for 2018 in April, which anticipates a season with “slightly above-average activity,” including predictions for 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. While the predictions are not a garuntee, many Montgomery County residents and officials are already gearing up for future flooding.
“We really want to push preparedness to all of our citizens because we can only do so much,” said Cynthia Jamieson, public information officer for the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “[Residents] need to be prepared to make sure they can sustain themselves if we can’t get to them.”
Although the county office is not making any major changes this season when it comes to preparedness, Jamieson said Hurricane Harvey improved communication with other neighboring emergency management entities and said those relationships remain intact.
Jamieson said, this season, the office will continue to push preparedness and communication as it has during past hurricane seasons, to keep residents abreast of information during any disasters that may come this hurricane season. The office will also continue offering Community Emergency Response Team courses throughout the year, to arm residents with preparedness education. She also said that she thinks this year, those affected by Hurricane Harvey will be better prepared in the event of a natural disaster.
“I just hope that in the years to come we continue that momentum, because as we know, whenever there is a disaster, people get complacent and forget what they need to do for hurricane season,” she said. “ [The weather] can be predicted to a certain extent, but there are some things—as we saw with Hurricane Harvey—that we just cannot predict.”