Hurricane Preparedness Sites

For more information on preparing for hurricanes, evacuation routes, or making a disaster plan:

  • Visit the Brownsville Office of Emergency Management website at http://oem.cob.us.
  • Call (956) 504-7405, for information on shelters, road closures and power outages, throughout the storm.

Call Center

To report any complaints, concerns, or comments, please report to the Call Center at (956) 546-HELP (4357). Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • For more information, visit http://help.cob.us.

The City of Brownsville’s goal is to provide these tips and online resources that you can use to be prepared in case Brownsville is faced with a hurricane. We hope that this will be useful to you.

Family Disaster Plan

A disaster can strike quickly. Knowing what to do in case family members are separated may decrease stress during a disaster.

  • Have an out-of-area, single point of contact for all family members should you become separated.
  • All family members should know the safest area in the home and within the community to seek shelter.
  • Family members should take first aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
  • Know what do with pets if the need arises for evacuation.

Disaster Kit

A Disaster Kit may help you survive several days without running water, telephone, electricity or gas service. Prepare a kit ahead of time and keep it in a plastic, portable container. This kit should include:

  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food and at least one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications, baby formula and diapers, plus a manual can opener.
  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries for both.
  • Properly stocked first aid kit and special items for infants, elderly or family members with disabilities.
  • Important documents such as insurance cards, credit cards and cash.
  • Books, crayons, and games for children’s activities.
  • Pet supplies such as pet food, medications and portable carrier.

Evacuation Tips

Should the Mayor of Brownsville issue an evacuation order, Brownsville evacuees without lodging arrangements should go to San Antonio. Residents with a disaster plan who have made previous arrangements ahead of time should head directly towards Laredo, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, or wherever their final destination may be.

  • Fuel your car early, plan your evacuation route, know who is going with you, and take your disaster kit.
  • If you don’t have any transportation out of town, contact 2-1-1 now to register – don’t wait.
  • Depending on the storm, traffic on US 77 may be diverted away from the King Ranch via TX 186 to US 281.

Every Minute Counts. Don’t Wait to Call 211

If you will need help evacuating in the event of a hurricane, dial 211 to register in advance for a ride. Dial 211 as soon as possible if:

  • you have a disability or special health care need and require assistance to get out.
  • you cannot drive and cannot arrange transportation.
  • you do not have a vehicle and you have no one else to help you evacuate.

During a disaster, the goal and responsibility of the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) is to put into action its general emergency plan, deploy work crews and work with city, state and national organizations to continue to deliver the best service safely and reliably.

Portable Electric Generator Safety

People rely on portable generators for electricity during temporary power outages. According to the National Fire Protection Association, carbon monoxide deaths and injuries are rising along with portable generator sales. Learn more about generator safety at http://www.nfpa.org. Here are a few tips to keep you safe when using generators:

Fumes

  • Portable generators emit carbon monoxide fumes during operation.
  • To avoid deadly carbon monoxide fumes, keep the generator outside.
  • Don’t store generator fuel near an ignition source.

Avoid injuries

  • Connecting a generator directly to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ into the power lines enough to kill a
    utility lineman making outage repairs.
  • Never overload a generator; it can cause a fire or electrical shock.
  • Avoid shocks; read the owner’s manual to properly ground your generator.
  • Avoid burns; stay away from operating generators.

Fallen Power Line Safety

  • Treat every fallen line as if it were energized.
  • Never touch a power line.
  • Call BPUB at (956) 983-6300 to report a downed power line or a service interruption.

Delivering Reliable Service

At the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB), year-round planning encompasses all areas of utility generation and delivery to minimize customer impact during a natural disaster.

Before a storm hits

Crews and staff drill in emergency response and cross-train to fill in where needed, including call and reporting centers. Agreements are secured with outlying utility providers to mobilize extra repair crews and equipment.

Imminent storm

Depending on the situation severity, action and continuation plans may be activated. All BPUB personnel are placed on special alert and understand that they are expected to report for duty at any hour. BPUB and mutual-aid crews fuel up and deploy. Staging areas are set up to deliver needed supplies to crews who respond in 16-hour rotations to get any downed utilities back online as quickly as possible.

During a storm

A 24-hour staffed BPUB command center continues to monitor, communicate and activate assessment and repair crews who remain deployed until conditions become too severe. Meanwhile, other staff stationed at the City of Brownsville Emergency Operations Center communicates ongoing operations updates to city, state and federal organizers.

Restoring power

Should utility outages occur, BPUB restores power plants and affected transmission lines and substations, which are essential to providing public utilities including water treatment plants. Meanwhile, BPUB restores electrical lines and equipment that serve critical facilities, like hospitals, police and fire stations and emergency broadcast centers. Crews restore service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Once this is done, crews repair infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods until every customer is back online.

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