BEAUMONT, Texas —
It's time for Southeast Texans to make sure their storm plans are in place as the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in late May a 40% chance of 2023 being a near-normal hurricane season, a 30% chance of an above-average season, which has more storms than usual, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season, which has fewer.
Leaders like Beaumont Mayor Roy West and Jefferson County's Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Grimm are busy working on their own battle plan in case another storm heads to Southeast Texas.
Hardware stores are stocked up and are urging residents to plan ahead.
"Well we've got 3 different types of generators depending on what you want to do," said Sutherlands hardware store employee John Guevara." Money's tight and everything. Get your budget, what you can afford and get ready for it."
West is being brought up to speed as he will serve as Beaumont's new mayor during the 2023 hurricane season.
"In my first two weeks as mayor, I've undergone a lot of emergency management training," West said. "We have good technology and I feel well prepared for this hurricane season and hopefully it will be uneventful."
Grimm is preparing for his first season in a new role as Jefferson County emergency management coordinator after Mike White retired.
He took the role of emergency management deputy director for Jefferson County in 2018.
"We're definitely ready at the county, we practice it, we drill with it, we review our plans and go over all the scenarios before a storm comes in," he said.
Grimm is currently at a Texas Division of Emergency Management conference in Forth Worth.
"Being in a new position, to introduce myself to the people at the state level who we will be dealing with in the time of a disaster," Grimm said.
The county is preparing and hope residents will too.
"That they are prepared to leave, that it's not going to take them a long time to get their stuff together. Documentation, clothing and everything else, ready to go," Grimm said.
Grimm says if you can afford it, it's also a good time to consider flood insurance.
"Harvey and Imelda, you may not have flooded, but that doesn't mean on the next storm, because they are all different, that you could still possibly flood," he said.
Emergency management coordinators are planning a test run towards the end of June at their emergency center in the Jefferson County courthouse.