Ready, Set, Weather the Storm: A Guide to Hurricane Preparedness
Hurricane season in Houston typically runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the peak of the season being in August and September. During this time, it’s important to stay informed about weather updates and warnings from local authorities.
With hurricane season quickly approaching, it’s important to make sure that we’re prepared in case of a storm. As someone who has lived through several hurricanes and tropical storms, including Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, I understand how vital it is to be prepared.
What Should You Include in Your Hurricane Kit?
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a hurricane is to create a hurricane kit. Here are some essential items to include:
Water – It’s essential to have enough water on hand to last for at least three days. You should have at least one gallon of water per person per day. Don’t forget to include water for your pets too!
Non-perishable food – In addition to water, it’s important to have non-perishable food on hand. You should have enough food to last for at least three days. Canned foods, dry foods, and energy bars are all good options. Make sure to choose foods that don’t require refrigeration.
First aid kit – A first aid kit is a must-have in any emergency kit. It should include items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic, and any necessary medications.
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio – In the event of a power outage, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio will be your main source of information. Make sure to have extra batteries on hand if you choose a battery-powered radio.
Flashlight with extra batteries – A flashlight is another essential item to have in your hurricane kit. Make sure to have extra batteries on hand as well.
Whistle to signal for help – In case of an emergency, a whistle can be a lifesaver. It’s a simple way to signal for help if you need it.
Personal hygiene items – During a hurricane, access to clean water and sanitation facilities may be limited. It’s important to include items such as moist towelettes, garbage bags, and hand sanitizer in your kit.
Medications – If you take prescription medications, make sure to include a supply in your kit. Don’t forget to include over-the-counter medications as well.
Important documents – Make sure to keep important documents such as IDs, insurance policies, and bank account information in a waterproof container. You can also keep digital copies on a USB drive.
Cash and coins – During a power outage, ATMs may not be available. It’s important to have cash and coins on hand in case you need to purchase essential items.
Pet food and supplies – If you have pets, don’t forget to include food and supplies for them in your kit. This can include food, water, medication, and any necessary supplies such as a leash or carrier.
It’s also a good idea to check your kit periodically to make sure that everything is up-to-date and in working order.
Why is Having a Plan So Important?
Having a plan in place for what to do if a hurricane hits is crucial. My family evacuated Houston in anticipation of Hurricane Rita, but I had to stay in town due to my work. That meant that I couldn’t be on site with them during the evacuation and had to trust they knew what to do and where to go. That experience taught me the importance of having a plan and making sure that all family members know what to do in case of an emergency.
Make sure to designate a safe place for your family to go in case of an evacuation and have an out-of-town friend or family member as a point of contact in case you become separated from each other. Know the evacuation routes in your area and make sure to have a full tank of gas in your car in case you need to leave quickly.
In addition to having a plan and knowing the evacuation routes in your area, it’s also important to know your evacuation zone and what that means. Your evacuation zone is determined by local authorities based on factors such as proximity to the coast, elevation, and flood history. If you’re in a designated evacuation zone, it means that you may be at higher risk for flooding or other dangers during a hurricane.
Knowing your evacuation zone can help you make informed decisions about when to evacuate and where to go. To find out your evacuation zone, you can check with your local emergency management office or visit their website. Stay safe and be prepared!
Staying informed about the latest updates and developments during hurricane season is critical for your safety and preparedness. Luckily, there are several websites available that can provide you with the most up-to-date information on hurricane activity, potential impacts, and evacuation orders. Whether you’re a resident of Houston or just passing through, it’s essential to know which websites you can trust for accurate and reliable information during this time. Here are five websites that you should be keeping a close eye on during hurricane season in Houston.
- National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Houston/Galveston National Weather Service: https://www.weather.gov/hgx/
- Harris County Flood Control District: https://www.hcfcd.org/
- City of Houston Office of Emergency Management: https://houstonemergency.org/
- Space City Weather — https://spacecityweather.com/
- En español — https://es.spacecityweather.com/
Are you prepared?
Are you ready for hurricane season? It’s important to make sure you have a plan in place and that you’re stocked up on essential supplies. Do you have any preparation tips or tricks that you’d like to share? Maybe you have some unique items in your kit or an evacuation plan that has worked well for you in the past. Please share your tips and ideas in the comments below so we can all learn from each other and be better prepared for whatever this hurricane season brings. Remember, it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when it comes to natural disasters.
Hurricane season in Houston can be a challenging time, but with a little preparation, we can be better prepared to weather any storm that comes our way. Remember to stay informed about weather updates, create a hurricane kit, and have a plan for what to do if a hurricane hits. Working together, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
Sandra Fernandez is a professional communicator, tech enthusiast, book lover, and blogger. You can find her main blog at SandraSays.com and more of her writing at HispanicHouston.com.