As Hurricane Harvey begins to impact the Texas coast, I want to echo the recommendations by State and local officials urging residents to take every precaution to ensure the safety and security of themselves and their loved ones. Property can be replaced, lost lives are gone forever.
Hurricane Harvey is projected to be the most significant storm to hit the United States in more than a decade, with a potentially long duration over land that greatly increases severe flooding risks. I urge people to heed the warnings of local officials, and comply with evacuation orders, voluntary and especially mandatory. Those who willfully ignore evacuation orders not only put themselves at greater risk, they are also endangering the lives of the first responders conducting search and rescue operations.
For those in the storm’s immediate path unable to evacuate, let friends and family know your location. If evacuation is still an option in your area, heed the authorities and get yourself and your family to safety.
Find out what you can do to prepare at www.ready.gov. Download the FEMA mobile app to access a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, get directions to open shelters and recovery centers and more.
The Federal Government, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is working closely with state and local officials to help coordinate their preparation, response, and eventual recovery efforts. Your safety is everyone’s priority.
Thomas P. Bossert is the Homeland Security Advisor to President Donald J. Trump