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Houston Storm Preparedness Tips

Pooja Salhotra
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Storm season

We've gathered some resources to keep in mind to stay safe and prepared going into the 2019 Hurricane Season. (Photo: istockphoto.com)

Hurricane season for Atlantic storms officially starts June 1, but Houston is already seeing severe weather, with flooding affecting many communities this week. Rainy weather is expected to continue throughout the week, and the National Weather Service has issued a flash-flood watch from Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening.

It’s scary to be caught stranded in your vehicle, surrounded by high waters, or to be faced with flooding in your home. But we hope the resources outlined below can help you stay safe and prepared going into this weekend and the 2019 Hurricane season.

Supplies Checklist: 

Here’s a list of items to keep in your home and in your car to prepare for flooding or stormy weather.  

Items to keep in your car/at your office: 

  • A couple bottles of water and protein bars 
  • A change of clothes
  • Sturdy shoes/rain boots 
  • Rain poncho and/or umbrella
  • Flashlight 
  • Small First Aid Kit 
  • Emergency medicine if needed 
  • Portable phone charger 

Items to keep in your home in a designated emergency supply kit (make sure that everyone in your household knows where the kit is located in the event of an emergency):

  • Flashlights and extra batteries 
  • Water bottles 
  • Food – keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food 
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person 
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container 
  • Whistle to signal for help 
  • Cash 
  • Prescription medication with dosages
  • A wrench to turn off utilities 

Weather Tracking Resources:
Be sure to sign up for Alert Houston to receive timely information during weather emergencies. You can register for alerts through email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notifications, and most alerts are geo-targeted. 

If you live in one of the following neighborhoods, you can also sign up for area specific alert systems to get the most locally-relevant information: Bellaire, West U, Memorial Villages. Sign up for HISD alerts to find out about school closures.  

The Harris County Flood Control District also offers interactive mapping tools to help you stay informed on weather conditions. The Harris County Flood Warning Systemallows people to type in their address and see water levels nearby in real time, based on 163 rainfall gages installed around the county. 

Flood Response Information: 

  • Reporting flooding: Call 311 or file a report  
  • Finding your towed car: File a report here
  • File a Flood claim with FEMA  
  • Food safety: Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water 
  • Sanitizing your home: When rain water gets into your home, take steps to prevent mold growth. Wash surfaces with soap and water, sanitize with household bleach and then clean with a solution of 1 cup household liquid bleach per 5 gallons of water. 
  • Tetanus Shot: People ages 7+ with cuts that were exposed to flood water could be at risk of tetanus. Consult your primary care doctor about whether a tetanus shot might be needed.  

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