Hurricane season is here and if you've lived in or near the coastal bend for very long, you know we take it seriously. There are lots of things to consider when planning for a big storm. Even what to do with your garbage is important.

Trash, recycling and debris collection are vital services for recovery after a severe storm or hurricane. Waste Management is urging residents and businesses to prepare prior to advancing storms by securing their garbage cans and other recycling and trash containers in a safe location. If a hurricane directly impacts your area, put household garbage such as food refuse and diapers - everything you ordinarily throw away - into containers or bags, and place them at the curb separate from large storm debris, such as large household debris, trees and limbs. By separating your household garbage, you help your street get picked up more quickly and safely. "Following a powerful hurricane strike, one of the most essential needs for a community to begin recovery is the reliable return of its most vital services," said Jeffrey Poche, district manager for Waste Management, when talking to the Victoria Advocate.

The company's investment in emergency and storm recovery preparedness includes stockpiling of supplies and needed rapid-response equipment, including communications technologies and response vehicles. The effort includes mobile "command centers" that include overnight functionality plus satellite voice and data-enabled systems. These are stationed in Georgia and Texas, but can be mobilized to be accessible anywhere in the Southeast following a storm's impact.

After a storm, Waste Management works to restart waste and recycling collection and operations as soon as possible on passable streets.