With the tornadoes hitting North Texas last night, many are wondering how ready Houston is in the event of an emergency, whether natural or manmade. Francisco Sanchez of the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says they are.

“We had over 504 classes, trainings, exercises and drills within our office and with partner agencies to test our plans, find gaps, improve them and make sure that we are better prepared for any type of incident,” Sanchez told KTRH.

Sanchez says his office has learned from past storms, like Hurricane Ike, which hit in 2008.

“The biggest lesson was that during large scale, long-term events we needed to do a better job in transitioning from the response team to the recovery team,” Sanchez explained.

Hospitals in Houston are ready as well. Dr. Jeff Kalina of The Methodist Hospital says everyone is talking to each other.

“Houston has an awful lot of cooperation with all the hospitals. There are systems in place allowing each other to communicate about bed capacities, capabilities and operating room capabilities,” Kalina said.

Kalina also said there were lessons hospitals learned from Ike.

“People that are on a lot of medications should have a list of those and their doses. So when they arrive in the emergency room we can derive what their medical problems are if they are unable to speak,” Kalina explained.

The Atlantic hurricane season will begin on June first. Multiple forecasts have it being an above average hurricane season. The Weather Channel is calling for 16 named storms, nine of which will become hurricanes.

The federal government’s seasonal forecast will be out on May 23rd.

Hurricane Season officially begins June 1. This new billboard will debut today along I-45 the Gulf Freeway north of FM 519 in LaMarque.