Texas Hurricane Season Tips
Houston may see Hurricane Alex yet, the next few days will tell. But whether it’s Alex or the next one, we are entering an active hurricane season, and the chances of the Gulf Coast getting hit once or twice are higher than they’ve been in recent years, above 50%. Last year saw relatively low hurricane activity, but as folks living in a region where some areas are still recovering from Katrina, we know enough to take this season seriously.
Here are some tips for weathering this hurricane season.
1. Keep informed: Don’t just walk outside and squint at the sky, or lick a finger to test the wind’s direction. Meteorologists are there to help you. They can see further. Listen to the radio, watch the news, check the news online, but stay in the loop. Know what you’re up against, and take warnings seriously.
2. Secure your property: Before the urgency of the storm requires you to batten the hatches with plywood and tarp, think ahead. IIf your home does not have impact-resistant windows and doors, consider moving some of your valuables into Houston self storage for the duration of the storm season. Houston self storage is climate controlled, and secure. You can even tuck your boat in there, if you’re afraid it might float away in the floods.
4. Stock up on staples if you’ll be staying in your home: gallons of clean water, non-perishable foods, cooking tools that don’t require electricity (or a small generator), batteries, flashlights, blankets, pillows, and emergency medical supplies. Keep important documents and some cash in waterproof containers. A deck of cards and a bottle of whiskey can be a great help in getting through stranded times.
5. Have a family disaster plan: Have predetermined escape routes and places to meet. Choose an out-of-state friend or family member as the emergency contact so all your family members have a single point of a pet plan in the event you need to evacuate–a carrier, food, etc. Post emergency phone numbers and be sure children know how to use the 911 system.
6. Arrange to go somewhere else: It’s possibly you will just want to schedule out-of-the-area vacations during the hurricane season. Probably a little further than the Gulf Coast. The Louisiana relatives are not necessarily the ones to hit up in the summer months. In fact, maybe you should call them and invite them north with you. Time share on a Tennessee lake, anyone?
Or you could always try to live in Houston self storage. It’s air-conditioned and secure, but I think they frown on that.
7. Insurance: This one you’ll have to keep in mind for next year, as there’s no rushing out to get insurance just now. When storms enter the Gulf and threaten the coast, most insurers consider it too risky to write new policies. But when the clouds scatter and the folks up north start waxing on about the changing leaves, a separate insurance policy protecting your home against flood damage is a wise, relatively inexpensive investment. You should also be sure you are covered for wind damage.
Good luck and stay safe, friends!