Harris County officials prepare for storm, coordinate storm defense plan

The threat of southeast Texas being in the cone of uncertainty for two tropical systems has left Houstonians with lots of questions about the forecast. Despite the uncertainty, local officials urged residents to plan for what could be a rainy week.

HOUSTON – As two storms approach the Gulf coast, Harris County officials are coordinating a storm defense plan.

“This is a major hurricane that could threaten our Texas coast and we are doing everything we possibly can to prepare for it,” said Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Francisco Sanchez.

Sanchez says Laura’s forecasted track is constantly changing, which causes issues, but they’re as prepared as they can be.

“So we like to work off of a 120-hour timeline, 120 hours from landfall down to zero. Unfortunately, this storm is so variable we don’t have that luxury, but every possible plan we can move to get ready we are doing, and we are ready now for whatever comes our way,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez says the county’s EOC has been activated for five days and they’re operating at level 3- increased readiness.

“So, today, we have probably six or seven different conference calls with both the weather service and our local partners to make sure we have the latest information and to make sure our plans are in sync especially with COVID,” said Sanchez.

Law enforcement, firefighters, public health and flood control district officials are working together inside the EOC. Outside of it, they’re tracking their resources like high water rescue vehicles.

“The good news is since Hurricane Harvey we have 60% more high water rescue assets in this region than we did back then,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez stressed the county is prepared, and you should be too.

“The best advice I could give you right now is to check the forecast multiple times a day because it’s going to change several times a day and it may not be until tomorrow until we know with any degree of certainty of what Laura is going to do for us,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez also advised that families need to a hurricane plan and hurricane kit.

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