AUSTIN TxDOT is ready for hurricane season, which starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting a serious, above average season this year. NOAA's forecast for 2011 predicts 12 to 18 named storms with winds of 39 mph or greater, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher.

Working closely with federal, state and local emergency officials, TxDOT is prepared to quickly respond in the event of storms and flooding. In the OneDOT spirit, statewide crews will be mobilized to help Texans flee from harm's way and return home safely. We'll use Twitter and Facebook to alert and update residents about road conditions, including contraflow and evacuation routes on state highways.

We urge residents, particularly those along the Texas Gulf Coast, to pay close attention to weather forecasts during hurricane season. Being prepared is everyone's responsibility. The time to be prepared and make evacuation plans is now.