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Commissioner Miller Urges Texans to Prepare for Potential Impacts of Hurricane Season

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) urge all Texans to be proactive and prepare for the potential effects of hurricanes during what is expected to be a busy hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts seventeen to twenty-five named storms in the Atlantic during hurricane season from June to November. Eight to thirteen could become hurricanes, with four to seven being major storms. Hurricanes have historically impacted Texas communities, infrastructure, and agriculture. Texans, farmers, and ranchers must stay alert.

“Texans know first-hand just how devastating hurricanes can be,” Commissioner Miller emphasized. “Harvey was one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. I pray we are spared any further extreme weather, but still, Texans need to stay proactive when facing future storms. Farmers and ranchers should brace themselves for what could be the start of an active hurricane season.”

Any hurricane landfall along the Texas coast can result in billions of dollars in damages and significant loss of life, including substantial agricultural losses. Early preparation can mitigate potential losses and save lives.

Here are a few steps Texas farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers can take to prepare for a hurricane:

  1. Develop an Emergency Plan:
    • Outline specific actions to take before, during, and after a hurricane.
  2. Secure Buildings and Equipment:
    • Reinforce barns, greenhouses, and other structures to withstand high winds.
    • Secure or store loose equipment, machinery, and tools that could be damaged or cause damage.
  3. Protect Livestock:
    • Identify safe locations to move livestock, such as higher ground or sturdy shelters.
    • Ensure an adequate supply of feed, water, and medical supplies.
    • Mark animals with identification in case they get lost.
  4. Safeguard Crops:
    • Harvest crops that are ready to be picked to minimize loss.
    • Consider planting windbreaks or using temporary covers for delicate plants.
  5. Backup Power and Water Supply:
    • Have generators ready to maintain essential operations like milking and refrigeration.
    • Ensure water storage systems are filled and have backup water supplies for livestock.
  6. Review Insurance Policies:
    • Ensure all insurance policies are current and provide adequate coverage for potential hurricane damage.
  7. Maintain Communication:
    • Stay informed with weather updates and alerts from trusted sources.
    • Establish communication plans with family, employees, and local emergency services.
  8. Prepare Emergency Kits:
    • Stock up on essentials such as non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, batteries, and flashlights.
  9. Document Important Information:
    • Keep important documents, such as identification, insurance papers, and livestock records, in a safe and easily accessible place.

“It’s vital that Texans have an emergency plan in place,” Commissioner Miller added. “Hurricanes can strengthen rapidly, change course suddenly, and their impacts are often unpredictable. It’s best to be prepared. We should also listen

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