Prepare for the Hurricane Season
It is important that residents know who their local emergency management contacts are and any questions pertaining to emergency preparedness should be directed to the emergency management office in their city.
Go to ReadyHarris.org for preparedness tips and/or download the free ReadyHarris app, from the App Store or Google Play. The ReadyHarris app delivers real-time weather alerts, hosts a step-by-step guide to building a personalized family disaster plan, offers survival tip sheets, maps evacuation routes and locates local emergency services.
Everyone should have an emergency supplies kit with enough non-perishable food and water to last seven to ten days. Other essential items include:
- Copies of insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
- First-aid kit
- NOAA weather radio and batteries
- Mobile phone and charger
- Supply of prescription medicines
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
- Cash or checkbook
- Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding and vaccination records
Residents should review and update their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to make sure they include coverage for accidental damage, natural disasters and, if necessary, flood and windstorm insurance.
Flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period after the purchase date before coverage takes effect, so if you do not have a policy, you should obtain one as soon as possible. For more information about flood insurance, go to FloodSmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531.
Residents who live in an evacuation zone need to learn their evacuation routes and wait on instructions from local authorities before leaving. To determine if your home is located in an evacuation zone, check the Zip Zone Evacuation Map.
If you are asked to evacuate:
- Leave as soon as possible
- Secure your home; lock windows and doors
- Unplug appliances; turn off electricity and main water valve
- Pack your supplies kit, extra blankets and sleeping bags
- Take your pets with you
- Make sure your gas tank is full
- Follow recommended evacuation routes
If you are staying home:
- Identify a safe room, an area with no windows; stock it with a battery-powered TV/radio with spare batteries, sleeping bags, pillows, snacks and water
- Secure your home; put away outdoor objects and furniture
- Fill bathtubs with water for non-drinking use (such as flushing toilets)
- Wait until storm passes to come out
Residents who need help evacuating should dial 2-1-1 to register for transportation assistance. The State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) is a free service available to the elderly, people with disabilities or special medical conditions, and individuals who do not have a motor vehicle or other means of transportation.
It is important to stay informed before, during and after a hurricane. Sign up to receive weather and emergency alerts at www.readyharris.org and closely monitor the news media. Local officials will provide information about current conditions, evacuations and re-entry. Residents can also follow HCOHSEM on Facebook and Twitter.
In addition to your personal preparedness, consider getting involved in neighborhood and community emergency preparedness activities. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. Call Harris County Citizen Corps at (281) JOIN NOW (564-6669) or go to harriscountycitizencorps.org to sign up for classes or to get information about other volunteer opportunities. You can also get Harris County Citizen Corps news and updates on Facebook.