Hurricane_October2017

The Greater San Antonio area dodged a bullet with Hurricane Harvey — this time. In the future, we may not be so lucky.

Unprecedented rains, which deluged counties to the east, are a wake-up call for our vicinity. Don’t forget, meteorologists at one point predicted Harvey might hit San Antonio.

This cataclysm calls to mind the old Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. Such advice applies to cities as well as people.

One hard lesson learned by Houston, which doesn’t have zoning laws as stringent as other Texas municipalities, is that unchecked development typified by impervious cover — concrete — leads to disaster.

When ground is paved over, water has nowhere to go.

In addition, evacuation orders should be heeded. Though Houston’s officials issued none, Gov. Greg Abbott was pretty clear what he thought, even before the hurricane hit: If you live in an area where you think it will flood, even if it never has before, then get out.

At the same time, pay attention to warnings from reputable sources, and ignore untrustworthy ones.

For instance, in the San Antonio area, there was no need to rush like panicked lemmings to gas stations, siphoning off the last drop of fuel. A faux crisis resulted, manufactured by some social-media Chicken Littles.

San Antonio and its neighbors have seen their share of disasters. Let’s hope we can all learn something from Harvey.

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