By the time the Saturday newspaper hits your front porch, Hurricane Harvey should be coming ashore and affecting our Gulf Coast neighbors near Corpus Christi in Texas. The rapid strengthening of Harvey should be a reminder to Tampa Bay residents of the need to be prepared at the height of the hurricane season.
Florida knows all too well the damage that Hurricane Andrew caused this state 25 years ago this week. While Harvey is not expected to pack the same punch, its estimated Category 3 strength will bring severely damaging winds, high surf, heavy rain and inland flooding. The misery of everyday life in the wake of a hurricane is hard to describe to anyone who hasn't endured it — and there are plenty of Floridians who haven't. But facing this danger is part of life for those living on the coast.
This is a major test for Texas and the Trump administration, whose ability to respond and work together will be on display. Few events galvanize national attention like a natural disaster. The victims will need immediate relief and long-term assistance in getting their lives back together.
The storm should also prompt bay area residents to prepare. It took barely 24 hours for Harvey to grow from a tropical storm to a major hurricane. Residents in the bay area need to ensure they have supplies, a plan for family and pets, and evacuation routes nailed down. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death, and the time to do it is now. Harvey does not have the bay area in its cross hairs, but the hurricane season is far from over. For those able to afford it, Texas also could use any generosity the bay area can provide.