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Texas is changing the way it handles evacuees to kickoff Hurricane Season

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Posted at 10:51 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 23:51:48-04

BELL COUNTY — The Lone Star State is kicking off Hurricane Season by changing the way they handle evacuees.

“At the end of June will be the last day. They’ll use hotel rooms as a plan A or first course of Hurricane sheltering,” said Bell County Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Harmon

Bell County Emergency Management coordinator Michael Harmon says the state and FEMA primarily used hotels last year due to COVID-19 but now they’re returning to normal evacuation plans.

“They will pay for and try to arrange congregant shelters which is sheltering in places like churches and auditoriums and places like that,” said Harmon.

Harmon said this will allow more evacuees to find shelter and there will be social distancing.

“We’ve lost it all being able to put people in hotels, but we are still must abide by the COVID restrictions of maintaining 6-foot distancing,” said Harmon.

Bell County previously took in evacuees from Brazoria County, located on the coast, but now that responsibility will fall to Hays County, but they must be ready.

“There’s a lot of people that live along the coast and we have population centers like Houston and down in the valley. We are going to see evacuees come up this way,” said Harmon.

Harmon said now they’ll once again utilize places like the Bell County Expo Center. Harmon said hotels could be used to house evacuees as a last resort if Congress shelters in the area are filled.