Hurricane preparedness 101
As Summer approaches, so does the unpredictable hurricane season.
While hurricane season officially begins on June 1, Houstonians who have lived through devastating hurricanes such as Ike and Harvey know just how serious they can be and being prepared can be lifesaving, so here are things to know before the season is here.
What does the hurricane forecast look like?
According to the hurricane forecast conducted by Colorado State University, an average season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, three of which being are major hurricanes.
The 2023 forecast expects an average to slightly below-average season with 13 named storms, six hurricanes, and only two being major hurricanes.
What to do before a storm
Find out if you live in a flood zone. The answer is likely yes, since all of Houston is vulnerable to floods. If you live in a flood zone, cities and counties might issue an evacuation notice depending on the severity of a storm.
If you are evacuating, know your route ahead of time and make a plan. Make a plan for where you are going and how you will get there. For extra assurance, plan secondary routes.
Fill your gas tank up before the storm comes, as it can be difficult to find gas in critical times and lines are endless.
If you decide to stay home, know your risks. Prepare your home for incoming damage.
- Secure any loose objects outside your home that may blow away.
- Boarding windows is a simple and cheap way to minimize damage to your home.
- Sandbags and even duct tape can help reduce leaks.
- Charge your devices and backup chargers before the power goes out.
Make sure to have supplies
Last week, the nation celebrated Hurricane Preparedness Week. This is a time for understanding the dangers of hurricanes while spreading awareness to be prepared for possible storms.
The following are essentials families need, regardless of if they stay or leave:
- Water, one gallon per person per day.
- Non-perishable foods
- First aid kit, medicine supply
- Emergency contacts written out
- Portable chargers
- Fire extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Gloves, rubber rain boots
Watch and listen to the news to receive constant updates, weather apps can provide much of the necessary information you will need.
It’s best to take shelter during a storm. You should stay indoors and away from any windows, even if they’re boarded. Go to the safest place in your home, which is typically somewhere in the center of the house away from exterior rooms. If you have two stories, go to the first floor. A closet, hallway or bathroom would be safest.
Wait until you hear official news the hurricane has passed before going outside.
Be careful exposing yourself to flood waters because they could have dangerous contaminants.
Downed trees and powerlines are a risk too.
Check on your neighbors.