how to prepare for hurricane

Thinking about Hurricane preparedness in Houston? Read more to find out top 10 things to do to be prepared. 

Houstonians know that hurricanes and major tropical storms are an unfortunate reality you have to be ready for at all times. By now, many of us are “pros” at taking the proper precautions when a big storm is approaching, but when hurricane season comes around and threats loom in the Gulf, it’s always good to refresh yourself on what you should do when a serious storm is threatening to make landfall nearby.

Here are some of the key precautions you should take when a hurricane or big storm is set to impact the area.

Top 10 Tips For Hurricane Preparedness in Houston

  1. Make sure your hurricane prep kit is stocked–This is something you should do every year ahead of hurricane prep season already, but if you haven’t already, just make sure you have some key supplies on hand for riding out a storm, including enough non-perishable, easy prep food and water to last at least 3 days, a flashlight, batteries, a battery-powered radio, a first aid kit, essential medications, rain gear, key personal hygiene items, a multi-use tool, and more.
  2. Follow local weather experts to stay informed–Things can change very quickly, so it’s important to always stay current with the latest details about any storms that might be approaching the area. Whether you watch The Weather Channel, local news, or follow a weather-blog like the fantastic SpaceCityWeather.com, make sure you stay up to date with everything that’s going on so you can respond accordingly.
  3. Have a plan–Before the storm makes landfall, you should already have a plan in place for how you and your family will respond. If evacuation is required, know what you need to do around the house (e.g. secure important documents) and where you’ll go. You should also have a pre-defined meeting place for all family members in your home in case anyone becomes separated from the group.
  4. Secure the outdoor area of your home–Hurricanes and major storms bring serious winds, so it’s important to secure the exterior of your home. That means putting away any outside furniture if possible, trimming any big trees that may pose a threat to your home, and just making sure the yard is cleaned of any random loose items (e.g. bikes, kids toys, etc.).
  5. Have a plan to secure your windows–If you’re able to install storm shutters in time, that’s a great idea. Otherwise, if the storm is approaching, you can secure your home’s windows with pieces of plywood.
  6. Move any key items in your home to higher ground–In the unfortunate event that some water finds its way into your home, you want to make sure your most prized belongings and irreplaceable items, like old family photographs and key documents, don’t take on any water damage. Move those items to higher areas in your home to keep them safe.
  7. Fill up your tank–Throughout hurricane season, it’s always a good idea to keep your gas tank as close to full as possible. When a hurricane is threatening to hit the area, make sure your gas tank is full in case evacuation is necessary.
  8. Charge your devices–Keep your phones, tablets, and other important electronics charged up before the storm arrives as you could lose power during the weather event.
  9. Put the fridge and freezer on the coldest setting–You want to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible so that if you lose power, the food inside will last longer. That also means keeping them closed as much as possible to prevent any cold air from escaping once the power has gone out.
  10. If you’re told to evacuate, evacuate–Lastly, always follow evacuation orders. Hurricanes can be very deadly, so if officials recommend evacuation, please evacuate.

You can find more tips and information on how to prepare properly for a hurricane at Ready.gov.

Other helpful resources for hurricane and storm preparedness in the Houston area

  1. United Way of Greater Houston

  2. City of Houston Disaster Assistance

  3. City of Houston Emergency Operations Center

 

Check out 10 Precautions to take when a major tropical storm is coming. Stay safe!