Prepare for the 2013 Houston Hurricane Season With Our Handy Guide
Houston Hurricane Season is Here, Get Ready!
Most of you have probably noticed the weather getting a bit warmer, the days longer and the water in the pool growing comfortable enough for a dip. Unfortunately for us Houstonians, the approach of summer and fall brings more than just swimsuits and sunscreen. Hurricane season is here, and with a prediction of 13-20 named storms this upcoming season, it’s never too early to start getting your family prepared.
20% of all hurricanes that hit the US from the years 1851-2012 made landfall in Texas, including the most deadly hurricane of all time – The Great Galveston Hurricane which wiped out a whopping 8000 people during the year of 1900. Hurricanes are not something to be taken lightly, and prediction technology can only help so much. The only person that can truly protect themselves in a hurricane is you, and there are a few key actions that should be taken even before a hurricane in on the way.
Houston Hurricane Preparation Guide
1. Know and Plan Escape Routes
We are no stranger to the threats of hurricanes here in Houston, but many people are unfamiliar with evacuation routes and strategies. As we saw during hurricane Rita, the evacuation can almost be as deadly as the hurricane itself. And if we learned anything from Hurricane Ike, this time we will know exactly how and where we will go if a direct hit is imminent. It is absolutely vital that everyone understands and obeys evacuation routes and laws because in some cases, it could be the difference between life and death. Print out Houston hurricane evacuation routes and plan a rendezvous point for each member of your family.
2. Board Your Windows
Of course, not everyone evacuates. If you’ve decided to stay around and hunker down, there is yet another list of important things that must be accomplished in order to provide maximum safety and preparedness for your family. Tape, for example, is by no means an adequate form of protection for windows against strong winds and debris. The only true protection is well-fitted and installed 5/8” marine plywood. Protecting your windows is extremely important, as an open window during high winds may cause wind currents inside a home that can induce enormous damages.
3. Stock Food & Water Rations
So you’ve boarded up and reinforced your house, but it’s not quite time to sit inside that interior room and wait out the storm. It’s time to go shopping for items that will help you through the aftermath of a hurricane. The weather is an unpredictable thing, and there is no telling on how damaged power systems and infrastructure will be when the storm has passed. Items like radios, matches, and non-perishable food items are essential to keep your family safe and comfortable during the aftermath of the storm. To keep you and your family hydrated, a gallon of water for each person per day is recommended. A conservative estimate is about a 10 day supply of rations, so stock up appropriately. Remember to keep an extra fuel tank for your grill, keep a non-electric can opener handy, and start stocking your ice chests up with ice as soon as a hurricane has Houston in its sights.
4. Emergency Contact Info
Another key item to keep in mind is a list of important phone numbers. Thanks to smartphones, many of us are unaware of our own phone numbers, let alone the phone numbers of family and friends who we want to keep in touch with. Keep those numbers safe and sound so you can contact your loved ones.
5. Batteries, Gas, & Generator Fuel
When the power goes out, you’ll need a hefty supply of batteries, candles, and matches to keep your family comfortable and safely lit during the night. If you don’t already have a backup power supply for your home, shop around for partial and whole-home systems. Generators for homes are an invaluable appliance during a hurricane. It is hard for us to imagine life without power, and thanks to backup generator power, you might not have to.
Prepare as a Family
With adequate planning and preparations, keeping your family safe and fed after a hurricane is easy. Make sure to enforce good safety habits, and explain your emergency plans and actions to your children. A close, well-informed family is sure to make it through whatever nature happens to throw at them, and then some.