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Ready or not, hurricane season's here

Friday, May 29, 2009
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This is the last weekend you have to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. The season officially kicks off Monday and will last through November.

[BE PREPARED: Check our online hurricane preparation section]

Make sure you have extra prescription medications, batteries and non-perishable food on hand for any storms. Also get your important papers and put them in water-proof packaging. Take pictures of your home and your belongings for insurance purposes.

Right now, there is already a tropical depression sitting out in the mid-Atlantic. It's not expected to make landfall, but it is a good wake up call for people not yet prepared for hurricane season, and according to a new poll, there are a lot of people along the coast who aren't prepared to deal with the storms.

FEMA is preparing for the hurricane season with a visit from President Barack Obama. He's reportedly scheduled to visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency today. He's scheduled to receive a detailed briefing on what has been done so far to prepare for the season.

Many in our southeast Houston communities are still recovering from Hurricane Ike, but have no choice but to get ready for the new hurricane season. Still, an annual survey from the National Hurricane Center suggests some people don't see it that way.

"People tend, because they do not have plans, they evacuate too far, they leave too late, and they return too soon," said Kevin Smith with the Salvation Army.

An annual poll shows people aren't ready -- or worse -- don't care.

  • 83% of respondents did not take the past year to strengthen their homes
  • 66% don't have a hurricane survival kit
  • 62% don't feel vulnerable to a hurricane
  • 55% do not have a family disaster plan

    Federal hurricane help

    The U.S. Commerce secretary says an additional $19.5 million will be allocated towards recovery efforts along the Texas gulf coast. That money is on top of the $20. 9 million the Obama administration is giving for the region that Hurricanes Ike and Gustav devastated last year. About $10 million of the money will be used for building improvements needed at UTMB.

    Tremont sneak peek

    You can get a sneak peek of the historic Tremont house tomorrow as part of the downtown Galveston re-birthday celebration. You may remember Hurricane Ike flooded the hotel with more than eight feet of water last year. Galveston's Tremont House Hotel will re-open on Monday.

    Ike documentary

    If you missed it the first time, there's an encore screening of the Hurricane Ike documentary this weekend. Students at Ball High School filmed "Ike: A Documentary" to show how Galveston's youngest residents viewed the devastation. The documentary tells the story of a torn city rebuilt by everyday heroes. Fans of the film describe it as a healing tool for the residents of the Gulf Coast. You can see the film in the Ball High School auditorium tomorrow night at 7pm.

    National spotlight on Galveston

    Good Morning America's Robin Roberts will be in Galveston Monday morning to kick off hurricane season coverage. Galveston was one of the hardest hit areas during last season.

    Our hurricane special

    This Sunday at 10:35pm, we have a Hurricane Ike special program on ABC-13.

    Keep your family safe this hurricane season. Check our complete tropical weather preparation guide

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