Hurricane season can be a difficult time for anybody, but in the Houston area, being prepared is a necessity. They are naturally a concern for anybody whose homes are in the path of one, but also they can be a concern for loved ones and relatives. To make yourself ready for hurricane season, it is about preparation. You need to prepare to deal with the hurricane season’s physical challenges while also making sure that your home is ready, and ensuring that your family is safe and healthy. Living in Houston puts us in the path of hurricanes, and being prepared is key to minimizing their disruption.
Before the Storm
When you find out a storm is coming your way, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Here is a checklist to follow:
Know Your Evacuation Routes
An evacuation plan will be crucial to your plan of action. When we are under pressure and have a matter of minutes, we need to fall back onto well-established evacuation plans. It’s essential to find your local evacuation routes. Checking out your local city’s websites can find your specific evacuation routes. You can find the evacuation routes in Houston here.
Even with a whole home generator installed, some storms may warrant evacuating.
Create a Disaster Kit
A disaster kit is about making sure you have enough items to last at least three days. You need to purchase canned foods and bottled water as a priority. If you decide to stay at home, you can fill up the bathtub with water, so you can flush the toilet if the plumbing is out of action. A typical bathtub will hold enough water to last three days. The average person needs approximately 3.5 liters of water per day.
Also, you need essentials such as duct tape, a can opener, a first aid kit, a battery-powered radio with spare batteries, and a first aid kit. You should take the disaster kit supplies with you if you choose to evacuate. If you plan on leaving your home, you will need a few extra components, such as jumper cables and flares. You may also need an extra can of gas depending on how far you will be driving away from the storm.
Set up a Safety Room
Making one room in your home a space for everything you need during the storm will make the process easier. Use this room as a base for essential items, like your food and flashlights. It should be a room with no exterior doors or windows, and preferably only one interior door. This can be a place for storage and a place for your family to retreat to if the storm gets more severe.
Prepare Your Medications
If you take medications, you need to store them if the power goes out. You need to make sure you have any prescription medication you’re regularly taking. You should always have extra medicine during hurricane season should a storm close your nearest pharmacies down. If you need medication because it puts your health at risk, be aware that you may have to purchase medication without insurance.
Store Important Documents
Keep important documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and insurance policy information in a safety deposit box or a bolted safe.
Strengthening Your Home
You need to secure the windows and doors by boarding them up with plywood. You should also turn off the gas and power to the home and remove any trees or branches near your car or home. It is also worth purchasing a generator, especially if you need air conditioning or a family member has specific health needs.
During the Storm
If you have never experienced a hurricane, it can be frightening, to say the least. Hearing the rough winds and flying debris could make you and your loved ones scared. But the important thing during a storm is to wait it out. During the hurricane, for the benefit of you and your loved ones, you need to do the following:
- Stay in a safe part of your home.
- If you have created a safety room, you should stay there, ensuring the room is free of hazards.
- Stay away from any windows in case there is flying glass.
- Stay alert by listening to the local radio stations. They will provide the latest information on the storm’s progress and if any dangers are coming to your location. It is important to know where the storm is, and if it is coming to you, you must start your evacuation procedure.
- Keep your loved ones informed. If you have relatives nearby, reach out to them to see if they are okay, and you can let them know that you are fine. It is vital to make sure that everybody is safe and for you to provide reassurance during these times.
After the Storm
After the storm has passed, you need to be careful before returning home or heading out of your home. If there is moisture in the property, mold may begin to grow, and the debris could be dangerous. It’s essential to be careful where you step should there be any water on the ground or downed power lines. Here are some other things to watch out for:
Do Not Drink the Water
You have to wait until officials have tested the water. When a natural disaster impacts the water supply, it may cause E. coli and salmonella outbreaks. If you need water and have used your bottle supply, put the tap water in a pot and boil it for 3 minutes, as this will kill any bacteria.
Stay Away from the Generator
If you get too close to the generator, you may run the risk of inhaling fumes that could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay at least 15 feet away.
If you do not have a generator, consider the installation of a whole house generator for your backup power needs. There are several benefits that come with the peace of mind.
It may take a while for things to get back to normal. When you are preparing for a hurricane, the vital thing to remember is that you know what to do before, during, and after the storm. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. And it can be a very nerve-racking time for everybody. This is why you need to prepare properly so you and your family, as well as your home, are ready.