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Top tips: Prepare for a hurricane now

Live inland? It’s still important to prepare for hurricanes.

Wrecked boat next to service station sign

Port Arthur 2005 storm damage by NOAA

Hurricane season officially begins today.

Central Texas is primarily affected by Atlantic hurricanes, which form in the Atlantic Ocean and move west. The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30, but there have already been two named storms – Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm Beryl. Neither made it into the Gulf of Mexico where they could affect Texas.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants everyone to prepare for hurricanes, because even places away from coastlines can be affected by tornadoes, flooding and damaging winds, including Central Texas.

This year, experts predict there will be nine to 15 named storms — five will develop into hurricanes and two or three will become major hurricanes.

How to prepare

Build an emergency kit

The storm itself may only last a few hours, but the effects could last for days.  Your emergency kit should tide you over for several days.

  • Food
    It’s important to pack non-perishable food for everyone in your family. FEMA suggests shoosing foods that your family will eat, remembering special dietary needs. Try to avoid foods that will make you thirsty, like salty snacks. Read-to-eat canned foods are convenient, but don’t forget to pack a can opener!
  • Water
    Don’t forget water. On average you’ll need one gallon of water per person per day, just in case you don’t have access to clean water during or after a hurricane. You may need more, especially in hot weather. Keep at least a three-day supply.
  • Other disaster supplies
    Your kit should also include items you may need if the power goes out or you have to evacuate. Pack things like clothing, flashlights, and sleeping bags, but don’t forget  important documents like insurance policies and bank account records.

Check out FEMA’s website for emergency kit suggestions and checklists.

Make a plan

When disaster strikes, will your family know what to do? Where to go?

Before the storm hits decide how you will contact each other and where you will go.

  • Write down important numbers and keep them handy.
  • Figure out what evacuation routes you will take.
  • Talk to your kids and help them learn what to do in an emergency.

You might even let your neighbors know your plans and encourage them to plan as well.

Preparing for hurricanes and other disasters takes time, but knowing what you will do can go a long way to how fast you can recover if it happens to you.

Resources

NOAA produced this video to talk about hurricane hazards and why you should prepare.