Showalter

A tropical storm named Barry has its sights set on the Gulf, and perhaps the Texas coast, maybe even Baytown. The system was expected to become a tropical depression by this morning, a tropical storm by tonight and a hurricane on Friday.

The National Hurricane Center calls for a hurricane to make landfall in western Louisiana Saturday, but the Baytown area remains inside the cone of uncertainty.

Although the current forecast is cautiously optimistic for Southeast Texas, it is important to make preparations. 

The system is forming quickly and there will be limited time to prepare if the forecast changes and more impacts are expected for Southeast Texas.

The message today is simple: If you are not prepared for a hurricane strike, then the time is now.

Check your hurricane kits for fresh batteries and make sure your car has at least a half-tank of gas and that you know the route for evacuation in the case that there is an evacuation called.

Residents caught in the aftermath of a hurricane must be able to fend for themselves with few of the conveniences we enjoy every day.

You’re going to need a gallon of water per day, per person. You’re going to need food that doesn’t spoil and doesn’t need any preparation or cooking or refrigeration. 

Basically, you need to be able to survive seven days with no electricity, no refrigerator, no air-conditioning and maybe no running water.

Hurricanes are nature’s most powerful storms and can wreak havoc hundreds of miles from the coastal area where they make landfall. Highly unpredictable, hurricanes can increase greatly in strength with little warning.

We urge readers to heed warnings from local and state officials, and to ensure they have a plan in place to protect their loved ones and their property.

For more information about how to prepare for a hurricane, visit the DPS website (www.dps.texas.gov) and www.texasprepares.org. You can also find out more about hurricane preparedness on the National Weather Service website (www.weather.gov).                    

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