Hurricanes are part of summer on Texas coast

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I love the summer, but not Hurricane season.

Along the Texas Gulf Coast, the two cannot be separated.

In this issue, we have an elaborate section on how to prepare for hurricanes forecast to head our way and how to evacuate.

We put out this section at the beginning of hurricane season each year, and we hope that you save it and never have to use the evacuation part. The rest of the tips on how to prepare are always useful. It never hurts to be ready.

I have to admit that I am not the best qualified person when it comes to preparing for hurricanes. A few years ago, I bought a back-up generator that is still in its box. I’ve been meaning to fire it up, though.

Each time a storm is brewing out there, I decide that it’s time to get it going, but then the storm turns, and the generator remains in the box.

I’m going to play with it one of these days.

I’ve written before about the evacuation fiasco of 2005, and many of you still remember the long hours you spent on Houston highways that turned into one big parking lot.

I’m really glad that the hurricane guides and officials who make up the evacuation plans have since urged people to evacuate using whichever roads they want. Now they are only asking that we do it at a certain time, which allows the routes to handle traffic better.

One thing is good to know: There will be a lot of help available if we do need to evacuate. We cannot be ordered to leave, but it makes sense to do so if there is a hurricane heading our way.

A lot of us may decide to stay put if the hurricane is a Category 1 or 2, and prepare to rough it out for a while without power.

Each one of us needs to act as we feel most comfortable. Even a low-intensity hurricane can cause a lot of damage.

We make the best decision based on facts. But the safest decision, always, is to evacuate.

That’s about the only time now that my RV makes a visit to my favorite RV resort in the hill country. We haven’t been there since the last evacuation in 2008.

We spent a few days taking some time off and relaxing while monitoring conditions back home. It’s a lot more comfortable to ride out a hurricane while cooling down in the Medina River than in a dark house with no A/C.

So, it looks like we won’t have a lot of action this season, but it only takes one.

Storms have been turning away from the Texas Gulf Coast the last few years, and I hope that continues this year. But, don’t let your guard down.

As I write this, Hurricane Amanda is churning in the Pacific Ocean, with wings of 140 mph. It’s not a threat to land. That’s one down, and hopefully only a few more to go, far away from here. But, it only takes one.