HOUSTON -

More than 20 children have drowned in Texas so far this year, 13 of them in the greater Houston region.

On Memorial Day weekend alone, seven kids died in the state, of them, four were from the Houston area. With most of the summer swimming season still ahead of us, there is great concern that the 2013 number will exceed the 74 children who drowned in 2012.

Simple steps can be done to keep that from happening.

Gwen Carter, media specialist with the Department of Family and Protective Services joins Khambrel Marshall with the sobering statistics from this year and what her department is trying to do to help caregivers make the right decisions that can drastically reduce the number of drowning deaths.

The YMCA of Greater Houston is one of the organizations providing free opportunities to learn to swim, including the Water Wise program that goes into apartment complexes and gives free swimming lessons to all those wanting or needing them. Jason Hill, a YMCA aquatics specialist talks about common sense actions that we all can take to make sure our kids survive the hot summer safely.

The 2013 Hurricane season started June 1. What are you doing to prepare? Local2 hurricane expert Bill Read joins Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley and Khambrel to talk about the keys to making sure you have the best chance of surviving if a storm should hit southeast Texas.

Bill Read is the former Director of the National Hurricane Center, and prior to that was the meteorologist in charge of the Houston-Galveston office of the National Weather Service. Bill says the first and most important thing for all of us to do is to make a plan.

Frank Billingsley has been chief meteorologist at KPRC since 1995 and has talked Houstonians through many difficult storms. He says part of any plan you make should be the decision of whether or not to evacuate.

A compelling and informative and potentially lifesaving half hour in this week's "Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall" Sunday at 10 a.m. right after “Meet the Press with David Gregory.”

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