Is Houston ready? Now that Hurricane season has officially begun, local leaders strive to help everyone prepare

HOUSTON - Hurricane season is officially underway!

It's been almost a year since Hurricane Harvey dealt a Texas-size blow to the Lone Star State, and with that costly storm fresh on everyone's minds, there's no time like the present to stock up on supplies and prepare for another big storm.

"Whether you flooded during Harvey or you didn't, you still need to be prepared," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged.

And of course, don't forget about developing a safety plan for your family and your pets, too!

The ASPCA and other groups rescued so many pets during Harvey and other recent storms, and having a plan in place to protect our furry friends can save lots of lives!

"Everybody doesn't need to try to evacuate," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett explained. "If a hurricane comes, it's those people who are in danger of that storm surge that have to get out of harm's way."

"At this point, we've got almost double the amount of evacuation boats that we had last year," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña revealed. "We have additional high water vehicles. We have additional trained personnel."

It's been almost a decade since Hurricane Ike left Southeast Texas devastated from its wrath, so there's just no telling when another major storm could strike again.

Harris County's special website-- ReadyHarris.org-- allows users to get preparedness tips and sign up for emergency alerts, too.

There's even an app for that-- as well as the county's social media sites to help residents get prepared and stay informed.

And, don't forget about flood insurance.

"It takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect. Flood insurance policies will not be issued when there's a named storm in the Gulf of Mexico, so now is the time to make sure those policies are in place," Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner advised.

As Houstonians know all too well, it's certainly better to be safe than sorry!