It is a time of year that many of us in Southeast Texas do not want to think about, hurricane season. After the 2017 season and Hurricane Harvey, we do not want another storm. However, we cannot change what nature does and it is important to be prepared. Take the time to prepare each year and think about what could happen if a storm effects our area.
Hurricane season started on June 1 and, historically, Southeast Texas experiences more activity toward the end of summer in August and September. There are steps you can take now before a storm is even in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service offers these ideas for how to prepare for a storm:
- Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.
- Put Together an Emergency Kit: Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.
- Write or review your Family Emergency Plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the Ready.Gov emergency plan webpage.
- Review Your Insurance Policies: Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property.
- Understand NWS forecast products, especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
Last year the major damage to homes and businesses were in the form of flooding not the typical damage from a hurricane. Nevertheless, it is important to prepare your home as much as possible in the event of a storm. Here are some ideas for preparing your home before a storm hits:
- Keep trees around your home trimmed well before a storm to prevent damage from broken branches.
- Have the proper materials in advance to board up your windows to protect them from flying debris.
- Bring loose outdoor items such as patio furniture inside. They can blow around and cause damage to homes.
- Secure all doors on your property. Remember that the garage door is usually the most vulnerable.
- Move your car inside a garage or to another secure location (if you have to evacuate and leave your vehicle behind).
Every year, we take time preparing our home and businesses for an event we hope never takes place. When we have a year or two of no storm activity, it is easy to become complacent and not take the time to stop and plan. However, preparation offers peace of mind and the ability to react quickly when the situation calls for it.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!