Bellaire holds hurricane preparedness meeting for community

May 24, 2019

Bellaire held a hurricane preparedness meeting for its citizens on Monday, May 20 at the Bellaire Fire Station to provide the necessary tools and information in the event of a hurricane.

Paul Hofmann, Bellaire City Manager, opened up the meeting by speaking about the city’s Notify Me system. He encouraged all citizens to sign up.

“Make sure you get subscribed. We use the system for city wide messages for a lot of topics,” Hofmann said.

Hofmann also suggested that citizens sign up for PrepareBellaire, which was launched last year. PrepareBellaire is used for emergency related notifications.

Deacon Tittel, Bellaire’s Fire Chief spoke about how to best get prepared both before and during a hurricane.

Tittel noted that hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30. In fact, as of Monday the 20th, a subtropical storm had already formed in the Atlantic.

“The storms are already starting to brew. The time to prepare is now,” Tittel said.

Tittel said that the National Hurricane Center predicted a total of 12-14 named storms, with five of those becoming hurricanes for the 2019 hurricane season.

Tittel asked citizens to start to prepare their survival kits.

“From food to water, to clothing, to chargers for electronic devices, and batteries, make sure you have all of that. If you don’t get things before the crowds do, then you’ll miss out,” Tittel said.

Tittel suggested that the survival kits have items for at least three to seven days, but that citizens should also think long term as well.

Important documents need to be gathered up and copied, such as insurance, social security cards and drivers licenses. A list of medical history and medications will also be helpful. People should also have a list of their emergency contacts.

If people are evacuating with their pets, Tittel says to check ahead of time if hotels are pet friendly.

Another thing to think about is preparing your home ahead of time.

“Take pictures of the exterior part of the home. This way you have documentary. If we are to have a storm, you can compare that damage,” Tittel said.

Any lawn furniture, or any items that are not secured, should be put inside or tied down.

“If you do decide to evacuate, please notify the police department,” Tittel said. “This helps us if we have to do rescues, and we are checking house by house.”

Tittel also says to take advantage of resources that are available both during and after a hurricane.

“You should talk to your insurance provider to ask what you may need. When you turn everything in, your process will be a lot smoother,” Tittel said.

A resource center will also be made available to citizens. Tittel said this was open at the parks and recreation facility for an extended period of time in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The City of Bellaire has multiple avenues of communication, such as the city website, www.bellairetx.gov, and their Facebook and Twitter pages. Bellaire is also on the Nexdoor social network. The emergency operations number is 713-662-8206, which is to be called only for non-emergencies during incidents. A county-wide resource that can be utilized is www.readyharris.org.

Tittel also encouraged residents to sign up with State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), if they might need extra help because they have a disability, limited mobility, or may need medical assistance. More information can be found at www.dps.texas.gov/dem/stear/public.htm.

“We encourage you to prepare, but we as the city need to do the same. We have to prepare our departments. We will do whatever we need to do,” Tittel said.

“We have to learn from past experiences. Since I have been here, we have had Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Harvey. We are continuing to learn lessons so we can be better prepared,” Tittel said.