Evacuation routes from Harris County

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When a hurricane approaches southeast Texas, you and your family may be forced to evacuate from your homes, a process that can become very chaotic as every minute is crucial.

Getting to a safe place quickly requires planning, according to emergency officials. That planning needs to start now.

"If you live in a community that is next to water or southeast Harris County, Galveston, you need to know that we would ask you to  evacuate," says Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management public information officer Francisco Sanchez. "You need to leave as soon as we tell you to." He explains that not everyone needs to evacuate. You may live in an area where you need to take shelter at your home.

"If you live in a community like Katy or Tomball or Hockley or Humble or somewhere where you do not need to evacuate for a storm surge, you need to know you need to ride out the storm, be ready for a few days without power  and let those people in harms way to get out before the storm," adds Sanchez.

If you do need to evacuate, it is recommended to take four designated corridors, specifically Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 290, Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59 northbound.

"The problem when people don't take some of those designated routes is that there may not be enough fuel, there may not be enough support along those other areas," explains Sanchez.

The Texas Department of Transportation recommends traveling along I-10 and I-45 because those highways have the least amount of construction, according to spokeswoman Karen Othon.

"I-10 and I-45, you're looking at a much wider facility and should, it's a last resort, but should contraflow be implemented, then those are the two roadways that are going to be used as contraflow.

Emergency management officials recommend that you get the ReadyHarris app on your Apple or Android device. You will find an evacuation map icon on the app that provides up-to-date information to make sure that you and your family evacuate safely from your home.

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