insights | 06.24.21

Personal Hurricane Preparedness

Early preparation is key to safety

By Susan Phillips, Safety Director, Tellepsen

Hurricane season is already upon us and runs through the end of November. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA,) is projecting this season to be very active. Now is the time to prepare your home and family by ensuring you have plenty of supplies. This year, that may include replenishing any items you may have used during Winter Storm Uri that slammed the area in February.

As most Houstonians are aware, a hurricane can bring extensive disruption due to power outages, flooding, and lack of potable water. Preparing your home and family before there is an imminent threat will save you from long lines and scarce resources at the grocery store later. These supplies can serve to be both lifesaving and comforting during such a stressful time.

Prepare now:

  • Make a list of supplies for your hurricane kit. Check to see what you already have and restock during the next several weeks.
  • Photo or video document the current state of your home, personnel belongings and valuables.
  • Organize and protect important documents by scanning or taking images that can be saved to cloud storage or on portable storage you can keep safe. It is also a good idea to put originals into watertight storage. A simple solution is large freezer bags sealed with duct tape.
  • Consult with your insurance agent to confirm coverages.
  • Determine if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone and make plans for how you would comply with evacuation orders.
  • Be sure prescription medications are filled with ample supply at all times.
  • Confirm fire extinguishers are charged.

Disaster Kit Supplies:

  • Potable water – plan on at least one gallon per person for at least 3 days
  • Food – non-perishable supply for at least 3 days per person
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery powered radio with spare batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Portable chargers
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Dust masks (to filter contaminated air)
  • Cash

Before the Storm:

  • Be sure all electronics are fully charged in case of loss of power.
  • Be ready to put your preparedness plan into action.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, television, or the internet.
  • Have house boarded up or have storm shutters in place.
  • De-clutter drains and gutters and bring in outside furniture.
  • Make sure all your tools, supplies, and first aid kit are available for use.
  • Have a secure room available.
  • Check with neighbors, senior adults or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others.