Hurricane season is heating up, and even though we are far from the coast, North Texas is still susceptible to drenching rains and flooding. It’s important to take necessary precautions to prepare your home for any natural disaster. Read below to find out what you should do before a storm, and be sure to share this disaster preparedness information with friends and family.
*Gather disaster supplies
Include the following:
*Water: One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days (drinking and sanitation)
*Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food (canned meat, milk, fish, fruit and vegetables)
*Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
*Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
*First aid supplies
*Medications (both prescription and non-prescription)
*Non-electric can opener and utility knife (like a Swiss Army knife)
*Most towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for sanitation)
*Blankets or sleeping bags
*Change of clothes for each family member (rain gear, sturdy shoes)
*Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
*Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
*Whistle (to signal for help)
*Special items for babies/young children/elderly
*Copies of your critical information:
– Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, and investment information
– Passports, social security cards, immunization records, and medical/emergency information
– Bank account numbers, credit card account numbers
– List of valuable household goods
– Family records and photos (e.g., birth, adoption, and marriage certificates)
– Pet records (vaccination records and medical information)
– List of accounts with log-in information and passwords
Click here to download an Emergency Supply List from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Pay attention to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, a smart phone, or a portable radio for updates and weather information. Staying in-the-know will allow you to be proactive if a storm suddenly changes direction, speed, or intensity.
*Protect important documents
Valuables and important documents should be stored in a safe deposit box on the highest level of your home.
*Prepare your refrigerator/freezer
Turn your unit to the coldest setting, and only open it when absolutely necessary. Fill plastic Ziploc bags with water and stick the bags between items and in open spaces in your freezer.
*Store drinking water
Use clean bathtubs, sinks, and plastic bottles to store drinking water.
*Unplug major appliances
This will help reduce the power surge when electricity is restored.
*Fill cars up with gas
*Bring outdoor objects inside (i.e. lawn furniture, hanging plants, etc.)
*Trim or remove limbs from trees
*Prepare your doors/windows
Close all interior doors; secure and brace external doors.
*Go over evacuation plan
– Select a place to meet if your family becomes separated
– Decide what route you would take to get there
– Bring your disaster supplies
– Keep a list of emergency contacts
– Plan ahead for pets
*Evacuate if advised
Make sure to bring your disaster supplies and let an out-of-town contact know where you are going.
Keep in mind…
Do not wait simply for the “eye” of the storm to pass over. After the eye of the storm passes, wind will blow from the opposite direction, and conditions will be worse.
Stay away from flooded areas. If coming up on flooded roads, turn around and take another route. If water levels are rising, get out of your vehicle and seek higher ground. If this is not possible, roll down your vehicle’s windows all the way, so if you can’t open your car doors, you can escape your vehicle.
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