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June 1st Marks Official Start of 2020 Hurricane Season Harris County Urges Residents to Be Informed,
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June 2, 2020

June 1st Marks Official Start of 2020 Hurricane Season Harris County Urges Residents to Be Informed, Be Prepared and Be Safe

(Harris County, Texas) - June 1st marks the official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, but it’s already gotten off to a fast start. There were two named storms before the official start of the season –Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha.

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our typical hurricane season preparedness and public education efforts for this year. In the event of a major hurricane, the pandemic does not change the life-safety actions required of either the region’s governments or its residents.

Therefore, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) collaborated with the National Weather Service and our area’s on-air meteorological talent. Below are the subject matter experts that participated and topics covered during the event.

  • Bill Read, Former NHC Director — Event Moderator
  • Jeffry Evans, Meteorologist -in-charge, National Weather Service —Overall Season Forecast
  • Chita Craft, Meteorologist, KHOU CBS 11 — Watch vs Warning
  • Travis Herzog, Chief Meteorologist, KTRK ABC 13 — Understanding Hurricane Winds
  • Frank Billingsley, Chief Meteorologist, KPRC NBC 2 — Understanding Storm Surge
  • Jim Siebert, Chief Meteorologist, KRIV FOX 26 —Weather Models
  • Gaston Heredia, Chief Meteorologist, KXLN Univision 45 — Rainfall and Flooding
  • Anthony Ortiz, Meteorologist KXLN Univision 45 — Lluvias e Inundación
  • Carlos Robles, Chief Meteorologist, KTMD Telemundo 47 —Tornado Threat
  • Jeff Lindner, Director Hydrologic Operations/Meteorologist, Harris County Flood Control District — Flood Warnings 

Any hurricane evacuations will be based on storm surge threat and staggered to allow residents closer to the coast leave first. Francisco Sánchez, Deputy Emergency Management, Harris County said, “and with social distancing guidelines, it is crucial we account for that timeline.”

Residents who live in an evacuation zone need to learn their evacuation routes and follow instructions from local authorities. To determine if your home is located in an evacuation zone, check the Zip Zone Evacuation Map.

The virtual event provided a platform for trusted sources to reiterate the dangers posed by tropical weather as well as the actions the public needs to take to ensure their safety and that of their family.

The event was live streamed and answered questions from the public made via social media. Among the recommendations made, area residents were encouraged to buy flood insurance through their home insurance agent, even if they have never experienced flooding.

“If we are impacted by a tropical storm or hurricane, it’s crucial that we all have a plan, the resources we need to take care of ourselves our family and our pets for seven days. Most importantly, stay informed. You’ve heard from your favorite meteorologists today, your local emergency management agency…stay informed,” Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Sloan told the audience.

So far, the virtual event has had over 12K views, 35 shares and 47,935 people reached on Facebook and 2.1 K views and 12,000+ impressions on Twitter

Remember, it is important to stay informed before, during and after a hurricane. Sign up to receive ReadyHarris Alerts at and closely monitor the local media. HCOHSEM will provide information about forecasts, current conditions, evacuations, and re-entry. Residents can also follow HCOHSEM on Facebook and Twitter.  


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