AUSTIN (KXAN) — The state of Texas is urging long-term care facilities to update their emergency preparedness plans ahead of the hurricane season.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission says it’s encouraging facilities to review their preparedness and response plans before hurricane season officially begins on June 1.

Long-term care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospices, intermediate care facilities and Home and Community-based Services group homes. HHSC says these facilities are required to regularly prepare for natural disasters.

Hospitals, dialysis centers and state-regulated child care operations are also required to maintain emergency plans and ensure staff are fully trained.

“We are reminding providers how urgent it is to ensure that their plans are updated and that staff at every level are trained on how to fully execute them,” said Stephen Pahl, deputy executive commissioner for HHSC’s Regulatory Services Division. “We all know how unpredictable and dangerous the Texas hurricane season can be, so it is critical that facilities do everything they can in advance to protect residents’ health and safety.”

Complete plans should include up-to-date information on evacuation destinations, transportation plans, responsibilities of staff members, continuation of care and treatments for residents and communication procedures.

HHSC reminds facilities that plans should also continue to address COVID-19 contingencies, including securing supplies of personal protective equipment and maintaining infection control measures during evacuations or while sheltering in place.

Guidance on how to update plans is available on the DSHS Texas Ready website. There, providers can find sample plans, disaster supply checklists and other information.

This hurricane season is expected to see above-average activity, with 19 named storms. The 30-year average is 14.4 named storms per season.