The 2014 hurricane season is now officially underway. Experts are predicting a less active season than usual in the Atlantic, but they don’t want you to have a false sense of security.
That's because it only takes one storm to wreck your summer.
The storm forecast for this year is for 8-13 named storms; 4-5 hurricanes, with 1-2 of those being major. Bill read is the hurricane expert for out TV partner Local 2 and says this isn't an exact science.
“We’re not sure we know all the factors that come into play. The difficulty is getting it right,” Read explained to KTRH.
That's why he likes to prepare every year like it is 1983.
“There were only four named storms that year. There was only one that made landfall in the United States, and that was Hurricane Alicia in the Houston-Galveston area.
Twenty-one people died in that storm 31 years ago.
Houston hasn’t been impacted by a hurricane since Ike in 2008, so read says the law of averages doesn’t necessarily help us.
“We will be impacted every couple of years by a topical system and maybe every 8-10 years by a hurricane,” Read stated.
So he says you should be ready for anything and everything.
“It only takes one is a simple phrase to remember. If you prepare every year as if this will be the one you’ll do the right thing when the storm comes,” Read said.
Emergency management officials always prepare for the worst
The Houston area hasn’t seen a hurricane since Ike, but emergency management officials are constantly reviewing and tweaking their emergency and evacuation plans should the worst scenario occur.
David Popoff with Galveston's Office of Emergency management says it's all about knowing when you're supposed to leave if the call is made.
“We evacuate by zip code. So one of the things this year is to know the zone you’re in. If you know your zip code you’ll know exactly when it’s time to evacuate,” Popoff told KTRH News.
Michael Walter is with the City of Houston's Office of Emergency Management says that preparing is something that always changes.
“It’s really important for us to have a plan and for our residents to have emergency plans in place,” Walter stated.
Francisco Sanchez with the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says they’ve learned from storms like Rita and Ike.
“Staggered evacuations work. If we have to pull the trigger on that it’s important that we let people close to water in the greatest danger get out first and then slowly move inland,” Sanchez told KTRH.
Alan Spears is with the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management and says you have to do your part
“We want people to have a plan and have a kit ready to go,” Spears said.
The bottom line is if the evacuation order is given get out. Hurricanes can kill. 195 people died in Ike in 2008; 120 passed away in Hurricane Rita nine years ago. Parts of Galveston were wiped out and the Bolivar Peninsula has never been the same.