Weather Center

Hurricane Prep

By Lisa Martin 1.29.13

Your area’s hurricane watch has just morphed into a hurricane warning, meaning you now have less than 32 hours before storms hit.

Minutes count as you work to prepare your home to withstand pelting rain and winds that can top 150 miles an hour. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, you should take time to do the following:

  • Bring inside any items like lawn furniture, bikes, and toys that can be picked up by the wind and hurled as a projectile.
  • Turn your fridge and freezer to the coldest setting then keep the doors closed as much as possible. That way, food will last longer in case of a power outage.
  • Stock up on canned goods and other non-perishable items as well as bottled drinking water; don’t forget to keep a manual can opener within easy reach.
  • Shut off your propane tank and unplug any small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Decide where your family will meet, both inside and outside of your immediate neighborhood should you get separated.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlight on hand.
  • Call 2-1-1 and hit Option 4, which is activated for disaster response, to learn relevant information, including your nearest shelter.
  • Download the free Hurricane App from the Red Cross. “We’re especially proud of the app’s social features that will help friends and families stay in touch during storms,” says Jack McMaster, president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services at the American Red Cross. The app also includes:

One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;

  • Weather alerts
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters
  • Checklists for creating a family emergency plan
  • Preloaded content that users can access even without mobile connectivity
  • A toolkit with flashlight, strobe light, and audible alarm