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Hidalgo-County-SealHidalgo County will be holding seven hurricane preparedness fairs this month. The “Dare to Prepare” Disaster fairs will partner with community resources within the county to bring information to communities about what residents need to do to be prepared.

Hidalgo County and Texas A&M Colonias host the preparedness fairs to provide critical hurricane preparedness information and resources to residents, especially colonia residents who may be most vulnerable during a hurricane or tropical storm.

Oscar Montoya, emergency management coordinator, said the fairs give the county the opportunity to meet with members of the community and share with them how they can be prepared for an emergency situation. He also said it gives community members an opportunity to ask county staff questions about what they need to do.

An item of focus for this year’s fairs is proper flood and hurricane insurance. Montoya said residents should know what insurance to have to make sure they are covered for flooding during hurricanes and tropical storms.

Another focus is getting community members to jump in and help out with emergency management. Montoya said residents could help out by picking up plastic bags, tree limbs and other items that could work their way into the drainage system. Items like tree branches and plastic bags can clog up drainage systems and cause flooding.

There will be a fair at La Plaza Mall, 220 S. 10th, on Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also in McAllen will be a fair at the Palmer Pavilion, 301 E. Hackberry, on Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other fairs will be held in San Juan, San Carlos, Progreso, Alamo and Monte Alto.

The fairs will feature agencies presenting information on how to make a plan at home and at work during emergency weather situations and how to prepare a disaster kit. Other agencies will offer tips on water safety, nutrition and services available. Tips shared will include basic first aid, disinfecting water, cooking and handling food after a loss of power, helping children cope and stress after a disaster.

Free refreshments and giveaways will be at the event.

Residents can visit the county website www.co.hidalgo.tx.us, to view important information and updates before, during and after emergency events. Residents can sign up to receive Emergency Alerts via email notifications at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/notifyme. Those who use social media are encouraged to follow the county on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HidalgoCounty and www.facebook.com/RGVDisasterCenter – a regional, Valley-wide page that includes information from bordering counties and cities. The county is also on Twitter (www.twitter.com/hidalgocounty) and Youtube (www.youtube.com/hidalgocountytx).

Other useful links for information about how to prepare for an emergency or agencies offering assistance are TexasPrepares.org, www.ready.gov, www.foodbankrgv.com, www.blt.tamu.edu, www.southtexasredcross.org, www.lrgvdc.org, ww.poisoncontrol.org, and www.arch.tamu.efu.

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