Emergency preparedness starts at the individual level.
The essence of the word "preparation," is making plans early. Many people want to be prepared, but do not know
HOWto become prepared. We've put together a lot of information on how to help
(All videos shown below are in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. Click on the square in the bottom right corner of the video player to enlarge to full screen mode. In addition, this information is available upon request in Braille for the blind.)
When a hurricane threatens the Rio Grande Valley, your county judge may call for a mandatory evacuation. You should know the evacuation route. From Hidalgo County, you can either travel west on U.S. Expressway 83 toward Laredo or take U.S. Highway 281 north toward San Antonio. Another alternative is to evacuate to into the interior of Mexico if you are familiar with the roads and/or have family there.
Local radio stations such as KFRQ 94.5 FM, KGBT 98.85 FM, KURV 710 AM and KGBT 1530 AM all broadcast emergency alerts. The phone number for road conditions on state highways is 1-800-452-9292.
Evacuation Routes (English) Rutas de Evacuacion (Español)
2-1-1 Transportation Assistance Registry
If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone and you have special health care of transportation needs, you may need to make extra efforts to get ready for hurricane season. Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and continues through November 30.
Operators answering phones at 2-1-1 are prepared to help you register for the Transportation Assistance Registry now, before hurricane season begins. If you are interested in registering and you want to find out whether you are living in an evacuation zone, simply dial 2-1-1 from any phone for information.
2-1-1 Registry (English) Registro 2-1-1 (Español)
Who should register?
- Gulf coast residents with special health care needs (including those who are disabled or medically fragile) who live in evacuation zones and do not have friends or family to help in an evacuation.
- This service is for people who cannot drive themselves or make transportation arrangements.
Why do I have to register?
- The registration process gives local emergency planners a better idea of the number of individuals who many need assistance and the type of assistance they may need. It is essential that all individuals have a personal plan concerning evacuation needs that includes family, friends, or neighbors who may be able to assist the
How long is this registry active? Do I need to call to update my information?
- Once you have registered, your information is safe in the database. There is no need to call either 2-1-1 again or your local emergency office back to verify registration. They, however, may call you to confirm details and get more information, especially if you live in rural area with no physical address. If your information changes, please register again.
If there is a hurricane and there is a need to evacuate, is someone going to pick me up or call me to see if I need help?
- Emergency planners in your community may or may not have the capacity to make individual phone calls to see if you need assistance evacuating. Do not assume that someone will contact you. Local emergency management will make every attempt to evacuate someone who does not have the ability to evacuate themselves, as long as the person is in the direct path of the storm. In the event of a hurricane entering the Gulf, individuals should pay close attention to local media to determine when and how evacuation will take place. Continue with your individual evacuation plans and call 2-1-1 if you need further guidance.
Flood Risk Assessment
Rains from hurricanes or tropical storms can cause serious flooding to the Valley's coast and many miles inland. You can find your personal flood risk by visiting Flood Smart website. Once you enter your residential address, you will be provided with a flood risk assessment of your property, estimated annual cost for flood insurance, and a list of flood insurance agents serving your area.
Flood Risk Assessment (English) Evaluacion de Riesgo de Inundacion (Español)
Making Your Emergency Plan
When developing your emergency plan for you, your family and your pets, be sure to consider the following:
- Learn about the types of disasters most likely to occur in our community. Consider purchasing a weather radio to alert you of severe weather conditions.
- Have enough food, water and medications for at least 7 days (optimal is two weeks).
- Plan your evacuation route.
- Choose an out-of-Valley contact to keep in touch with family and friends.
- Include your pets in your plan: Make sure your pal has an I.D. tag and collar, leash or muzzle and plenty of food and water, too.
- Know how, when and where to shut off water, natural gas and/or electricity at the main source to your home. Post emergency and utility providers by the phone.
- Contact your child's school or daycare to determine the facility's emergency notification and evacuation plans. Ask what type of authorization is required to release a child to someone else if you unable to pick them up.
- Check your insurance coverage. Flood damage, for example, is not covered by homeowners' insurance.
- Identify the safest area to take shelter during a disaster event. The safest area may not be your home, but somewhere else in county or state.
- Include your children in the planning process and discuss any fears they may have.
- Share information with your family. Practice your plan or evacuation route.
Emergency Plan (English) Plan de Emergencia (Español)
Get a Kit
Before a storm threatens the Valley, prepare an emergency supply kit. Here are some things you should include:
- First Aid Kit
- Bottled Water
- Food and Snacks
- Medication and Medical Equipment
- Weather Radio and Batteries
- Pet Supplies
- Extra Clothing
- Pillow and Blankets
- Sanitary Supplies
- Cash and Credit Cards
- I.D. and copies of Important Documents such as Deeds, Wills, Insurances, etc.
- Don't forget the kids: include their favorite books, games or small toys to comfort them.
You may choose to add additional items to this kit.
Emergency Supply Kit (English) Equipo de Suministros (Español)
Adult Day Care & Home Health Agencies
Across the state of Texas, adult day cares and home health agencies provide critical health services to the elderly and homebound residents of communities. For this reason, the state holds these agencies to a high standard when it comes to preparing for emergencies.
To ensure that adult day cares and home health agencies are prepared for emergencies, the state requires adult day care facilities to coordinate their written disaster plans with a local emergency management coordinator.
According to Rule §98.42 (a) of the Texas Administrative Code:
"The facility must have a written plan with procedures to be followed in an internal or external disaster and for the care of casualties. The rules must address areas, such as: emergency evacuation transportation; adequate sheltering arrangements; supplies; staffing; emergency equipment; individual identification of clients and transfer of records: responding to family inquiries; and post-disaster activities, including emergency power, food, water, and transportation. Plans dealing with natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, must be coordinated with the local emergency management coordinator. Information about the local emergency management coordinator may be obtained from the office of the local mayor or county judge."
Here, Hidalgo County Emergency Managements provides adult day cares with detailed information about how to formulate a written disaster plan.
Please make arrangements to have your plan reviewed well before a disaster strikes. For additional support, please contact Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator and Public Health Liaison Brenda Salazar at (956) 318-2615 or via Email.
Information for the Blind
Emergency Preparedness Information for the blind is available in Braille format the County Judge's Office-Division of Emergency Services and at the local offices of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.