This isn’t anyone’s favorite topic, but as history has proven, being equipped to handle these natural disasters is vital. Especially in Texas. In this blog, we’ll walk you through some of the main things you can do before, during, and after a hurricane or tropical storm to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your loved ones.
Things to do before a hurricane or tropical storm
Have an evacuation plan. While this is something we all hope to never have to use, it’s arguably one of the most important things for you to do to keep your family and pets safe. Never ignore an evacuation notice and follow your community disaster preparedness plan. Have a meet-up place in mind and turn off all utilities in your home before you leave.
Prep the exterior of your home. Bring in what you can from the outside—patio furniture, lawn décor, plants, toys—and, if there’s time, trim any large branches or trees.
Check your walls. If there are things hanging that are important, take them with you or at least get them to higher ground in case of flooding. It’s important to take notes and document your art, too, in case it’s unfortunately lost.
If there’s time, install storm shutters. Storm shutters go over your doors and windows and can be an actual shutter or made of impact-resistant glass. If you’re in a crunch, nailing pieces of wood over your windows is better than nothing.
Move the vehicles. If possible, move all your vehicles to higher ground, or park them next to a wall or garage door inside the garage. Never, ever park a car under trees, powerlines, or areas prone to flooding (especially during hurricane season).
Energize all appliances and vehicles. Fill up your car's gas tank in case you have to leave, charge your phone and devices, and if you’re not evacuating, check to make sure your backup generator works.
Take care of appliances. Move your appliances and household items away from exterior doors and windows.
Make copies of and store your important documents and valuable items. Things like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and financial papers—and even jewelry and family heirlooms—are tough to duplicate. Store your important documents in a safe, or better yet, take them with you.
Prep an emergency kit. This means flashlights, non-perishable food, water, portable radios, batteries, cash, clothing, medicine, toiletries, and anything in between. They’re going to be tough—or impossible—to get during a major storm, so get them prepped before.
Check on loved ones and elderly neighbors. We’re firm believers that hurricanes are the worst, but they can bring out the best in people when we work together and look after one another.
Things to do during a hurricane or tropical storm
Don’t flirt with flooded areas. We’ve all heard it but turn around. Don’t drown. Just a few inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet, and a foot of it can move your vehicle.
If flooding is imminent, get to higher ground. But never go into a closed-off attic. You could easily become trapped by the floodwater.
Pay attention to the weather. And adhere to any weather alerts—including mandatory evacuations. If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone, do it. These evacuations are for your own safety, so adhere to them.
Things to do after a hurricane or tropical storm
Be patient. If you were asked to evacuate, wait until you have the green light to return home.
Be careful with any cleanup. Wear waterproof clothes, face coverings, or masks if cleaning mold and debris.
Don’t touch any electrical equipment if it’s wet or you’re standing in water. If it’s safe, turn off your breakers.
Don’t go into floodwaters. From snakes and fire ants to hidden electric wires, it’s just never a good idea. You see people kayaking in flooded waters. Don’t be those people.
Save calls for emergencies. There’s going to be an influx in usage, and systems could go down. Use texting or social media.
Texas Power Outage?
Get hold of your Transmission and Distribution Service provider. This is the company that maintains the lines, poles, and meters that deliver electricity to your home.