Each year over 100 tropical storms form within the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. All Texas homeowners must stay up to date on how to prepare their homes against hurricanes and the destructive winds, storm surges, and flooding that accompany them.
Coastal areas in Texas face the greatest threat from hurricanes, but inland communities also need to be wary. Hurricane season spans from June 1st to November 30th in Texas, and at that time, there are ways to avoid possible harm to your family and property.
Things to Know
There are many things to have at your fingertips during a hurricane to react quickly and minimize damage.
How to Shut Off the Gas
If there is a gas leak during or after a storm, you will likely perceive it. The gas line needs to be shut off in such a situation to prevent an explosion. Contact your gas company to guide you on the proper steps.
How to Shut Off the Water
To prevent contaminated water supply, shutting off the water is wise. The main valve would likely be in the front yard, near the street. It could be challenging to put off; an adjustable wrench would be handy.
Evacuation Routes and Designated Shelters
Know your chosen evacuation routes like the palm of your hands. It is essential if you chose not to weather the storm, and the closest designated shelter should also be familiar.
Location of Electric Circuit Box and How it Works
Typically, the circuit box is in the basement or garage. However, this is not often the case. When you find the box, look for the primary circuit breaker switch as it is used to cut the entire house’s power.
How to Prepare your Home
The following steps can secure your home and family during hurricane season:
- Use hurricane clips or straps to fasten your roof to the house to prevent roof damage.
- Apply caulk at the rims of windows and doors to avoid moisture damage from wind-driven rain.
- If possible, move valuables to the highest level of your home and place them in waterproof/fireproof deposit boxes.
- Get a generator to supply electricity in case of power outages.
- Secure your windows by adding storm shutters.
- Keep fire extinguishers in the garage and kitchen.
- Get rid of dead or dying trees and their branches.
- Keep outdoor furniture and objects that are not anchored down in a safe spot within the home.
- Board up doors.
- Repair grade problems that can cause flooding and clean out gutters.
Essential Supplies to Keep Handy
- Water – a gallon for each person, each day for at least three days is the recommendation.
- First aid kit and manual.
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- Three days worth of non-perishable food
- Toiletries and hygiene products
- Paper dinnerware and plastic utensils.
- Etra medications and prescriptions.
- Hardcopy map of the area with evacuation routes and designated shelters highlighted.
- Identification cards.
- Flashlight, whistle, and utility knife
- A thick blanket for each person.
- Sturdy pair of shoes and raincoats for each member of the household.