Remember the last big storm that we had? Were you prepared? Our hurricane season officially started on June 1st and goes through November 30th. Don’t put off your preparations, take some time now to get ready for the next storm.
First, check your insurance to understand your coverages and to make sure you have insurance in place. Your mortgage lender may have required you to have flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area, but many in our area have been devastated by not having it in place. Also, know that flood insurance must be purchased well before a natural disaster as there is a 30-day waiting period before your policy kicks in. Also, find out if you have wind-driven rain coverage insurance through your homeowners. These are both important coverages to understand.
Next, avoid the panic and searching for out-of-stock items and make an emergency kit early. Here are a few ideas to include:
- Batteries and a portable radio
- Flashlights and batteries
- Personal items including medicine
- Food and water for 7 days
- Pet food and necessities for 7 days
- One gallon of drinking water per day for each member of your family, for seven days
- Seven days of canned food
- Cash, just in case
- If you can, get a generator
- A battery-controlled fan
- Propane for your BBQ pit—only if you have an area outside that is covered and ventilated
Make a plan and discuss it with your family:
- At what point do you evacuate?
- Where will you go if you decide to evacuate?
- What route will you take?
- How will you keep in touch with family and others?
Keep aware of happenings in your area. Knowing the best sites to hear about the storm, rain levels, and weather patterns is crucial.
- www.readyharris.org is a great source of information for evacuation maps and news
- National Weather Service, www.weather.gov/hgx
- Houston Transtar, www.houstontranstar.org
- Center Point Energy, CenterPoint Energy Outage Tracker
When you hear a storm is heading our way, be sure to gas up your car, avoid undue excursions, and protect items outside that may fly around with wind gusts. More importantly, protect your pets and check in with your neighbors to see if anyone needs help before, during, and after the storm.
The pros are predicting another above-average hurricane season in our area this year. There’s not much we can do about the weather, but we can take steps to safeguard our families’ pets, homes, and neighbors.