Hurricane approaches

A man walks back to his nearly submerged car on 33rd Street in Galveston as Hurricane Ike approaches the Texas coast on Sept. 12, 2008.

June 1 is the start of hurricane season. If you’re new to the coast like I am, you probably have no idea what to do, where to go, or how to survive a hurricane.

I have heard enough Hurricane Ike stories to have me thoroughly terrified.

Anyone who has been through a hurricane or two will tell you one of the most important things you can do is have an evacuation plan.

And now is the time to plan it. Don’t wait until you’re in a panic because a storm is bearing down on the island.

You won’t act rationally and it is vital that you remain calm.

Helping you prepare is why The Daily News produces a Hurricane Guide. We do it every year without pause.

The guide has a lot of useful information from emergency officials and from people who have weathered bad storms.

Start your plan by making lists of things you want to do and supplies you need. It helps to put things in writing.

If you will need transportation off the island in case of a mandatory evacuation, make sure you have all the proper paperwork filled out ahead of time.

And know where the designated pickup areas are in Galveston County.

Have pets? Make sure you have their immunization records. A digital copy might be a good idea.

If you still don’t know where to begin, start with some advice that old coastal dwellers have passed down for generations.

Find a big container or duffel bag. Declare that it’s your disaster kit. At our house, it’s called our bug-out bag.

As you think of things you’ll need, start stuffing them into your bag.

My husband goes through our bag every few weeks.

It gives us peace of mind that when a storm enters the Gulf, we will be ready to roll.

The point of that bag is that it’s a place to start.

It’s a reminder that you need to get started on your plan as another storm season is upon us.

Kimberly Worner is editor of The Galveston County Daily News.

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