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Volume 31, Issue 1

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DENTON, Texas -- Fourteen hurricanes and six tropical storms since 1961, which resulted in federal disaster declarations, serve as reminders to Texans that now is the time to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

The 2012 Hurricane Season begins on June 1, and while experts are predicting a slower season than in past years, most of the predictions still call for at least a normal amount of activity.  The 50 year average is a little over 11 named storms, six of those becoming hurricanes and two becoming major ones – Category 3 or higher.

In the last 50 years, Texas has had 20 storms that resulted in federal declarations.  Fourteen were hurricanes and six were tropical storms. The hurricanes were Carla (1961), Cindy (1963), Beulah (1967), Celia (1970), Allen (1980), Alicia (1983), Gilbert (1988), Bret (1999), Claudette (2003), Katrina (2005 – Emergency), Rita (2005), Dolly (2008), Ike (2008) and Alex (2010).  The tropical storms were Danielle (1980), Allison (1989), Charley (1998), Frances (1998), Fay (2002) and Erin (2007).

Six of the hurricanes and two of the tropical storms occurred in the last decade and resulted in the Lone Star State receiving approximately $7.5 billion in federal disaster aid. That assistance fell under both the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) and Individuals and Households (IHP) programs and included funding for direct housing, crisis counseling, disaster legal services, disaster unemployment, and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans.

Hurricane Katrina in Texas was an emergency declaration and provided reimbursements to the state for housing Katrina evacuees.

There have been no hurricanes or tropical storms resulting in a FEMA disaster declaration in the past two years, but several storms have affected the state nonetheless. Tropical Storm Hermine in 2010 caused major inland flooding in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 stirred up winds that exacerbated a weekend wildfire in Bastrop County.

“These statistics more than demonstrate the need for all Texas to be prepared,” said Acting FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “We say it often, but it’s the best way to get a clear message out there – Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Stay Informed.

For more information on the upcoming hurricane season, please visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes and www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare.

Volunteering is one way to be prepared to help others. Use VolunteerMatch to locate local Red Cross volunteer opportunities in your community. You can also visit www.citizencorps.gov for ways to help and be prepared.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.