EDINBURG – The 2017 hurricane season is almost here and leaders from the area are not only ready but hope the public is ready as well.
Mayor Richard Garcia reported with the help of the fire department the city has provided emergency response training to all 763 city employees. Every one knows their role in emergency operations should they happen.
The mayor continued by saying preparation is a continuous effort and needs to be at the forefront of daily routines.
“It can happen at any moment,” he said. “All our staff is ready to respond effectively to manage any situation of this type.”
During hurricane season city leaders work hand-in-hand with several entities including the Edinburg school district, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and Hidalgo County EMS to name a few.
The school district's role is to assist in shelter needs as well as transportation. In the past the legacy institution of UTRGV would provide shelter and house Texas military units and response teams.
Kenneth Ponce with Hidalgo County EMS said they're ready to activate a disaster plan if needed. They have extra transportation and additional personnel.
“My message to the community is know your hospitals, get prescriptions filled and have a medical kit,” he said. “In the event that we can't get to you in time have a medical kit in place.”
Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider said a lot of times during emergency situations the community will notice familiar faces like his or Edinburg Police Chief David White but he would like to let everyone know the City of Edinburg has a complete team in emergency responders.
All departments have an integral role in emergency management. From the library to the Boys & Girls Club.
While hurricane season is almost here Snider said the city is trained for disasters all year. He offered some tips to be ready for a disaster at all times:
Make sure there is a plan in place to evacuate.
Make sure water and food is supplied for seven-to-ten days to continue life. It takes that long for state and federal resources to arrive to a disaster area.
Make sure there is medicine for at least 30 days.
Consider relocation, ask experts if your home can withstand a storm stronger than a category three hurricane.
Become familiar with 2-1-1, the state emergency registry.
For those in home health care ask providers what their plan is in the event of a disaster.
Remember to have a back up plan.
Plan finances ahead of time in case extra funds are not available the week before a storm.
“We encourage everyone to put $20 a week and start buying resources throughout the year,” Snider said. “Similar to what you do for Christmas and birthday gifts.”
In the Rio Grande Valley one of the things with hurricanes is that there is time to prepare. Especially with the weather forecasting in this day and age. It can be up to two weeks warning to know if a hurricane will hit land.
“Please take the time to be prepared,” Snider said. “We stand ready to serve the community, our 90,000 plus citizens, plus the 50,000 plus residents outside the city limits we respond to on a regular basis.”
The Edinburg Fire Depart stands ready to support the city.