How Houston's Office of Emergency Management is preparing for a tropical storm

- Houston's Office of Emergency Management is getting ready for the potential of an approaching tropical storm.

"What worries me about [Houston] going this long without having a hurricane or even a tropical storm is people get complacent," says Meteorologist Jeff Lindner with the Harris County Flood Control District.

As of Tuesday night, Lindner was on guard at Houston Transtar. He says by Wednesday morning the building will be bustling with everything from various law enforcement agencies to the Houston Fire Department, Harris County Flood Control, and the Texas Department of Transportation.

"It's a lot of monitoring and preparation to ensure staffing levels are appropriate," says Lindner of the pre-storm activity. "As we get into the event — possibly tomorrow night — that's when the monitoring of the rainfall amounts, and where it's raining the most, begins to happen."

Lindner says the Emergency Management teams have some new preparation strategies after lessons learned from the estimated 10-15 inches of rain he says hit parts of Houston during the 2016 Tax Day flooding.

"[We had] unfortunate fatalities in vehicles with people driving in the underpasses and getting trapped in their vehicles and drowning. So we've really been pushing hard to try to pre-place barricades at these problem areas where we can get high water," explained Lindner.

Lindner says he does not want Houston to over-react, saying, "this is a tropical storm. Be prepared, monitor the forecast – especially tomorrow because things will be changing – but this is not a hurricane. This is not a Hurricane Ike. For most people their lives will continue on like normal."

Lindner adds that Houstonians should keep their plans flexible heading into the remainder of the week. He suggests getting cash in case power outages impact ATMs and credit card machines. Also, a car phone charger in case your home loses power and you need to power a device.

For updates on the approaching storm, download the FOX 26 Weather App on your Apple or Android device.

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