Texas Hurricane Center
Hurricane season runs June 1 to Nov. 30, though storms sometimes occur before and after those dates.
Seven steps to take NOW to prepare a plan to protect your family, pets and property.
- Put together an emergency supply kit.
- Create a communication plan with your family.
- Know where to go.
- Register for STEAR.
- Buy flood insurance.
- Prepare your home.
- Stay alert.
Scroll down to learn more.
Include an NOAA Weather Radio, flashlight, first aid kit, batteries, cell phone charger, cash, basic toiletries and more. Have food, water and other supplies to last 72 hours. Consider your family’s unique needs, such as food and a travel kennel for pets or medication for seniors.
Start with one simple question: “What if? What if something happens and I’m not with my family? Will I be able to reach them? How will I know they are safe? How can I let them know I’m OK?” Advance planning will help ensure family members know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency. During disasters, text messages are usually more reliable than phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
Search online now for your county’s office of emergency management. Register with your county to get emergency warnings by text, email or phone. Learn evacuation routes BEFORE the storm hits. Know shelter locations. Know how to call for help in evacuating family members with special needs.
If you or someone you know might need assistance during a disaster, please register now for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), a free registry that provides local emergency planners and responders with additional information about needs in their communities. To register, contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state's free 24-hour helpline. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 for community resoures.
Residents are encouraged to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and to consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. Remember most flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before taking effect.
Before the winds come, trim and remove damaged trees and limbs. Be sure gutters and downspouts are clear. Review insurance policies and catalog belongings. If under a hurricane watch or warning, bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, trashcans and any loose items. If your home is vulnerable to rising water, move furniture and valuables to a higher level. Close storm shutters or board up windows where appropriate.
Watch and listen for weather updates. Keep your cell phone charged and your vehicle’s gas tank full. Withdraw cash from your bank or ATM. Review your evacuation and communication plan with your family.
If planning to go to a hotel, call to confirm reservations.
If authorities advise or order you to evacuate, grab your emergency supply kit, important papers and photo IDs (you may need them to return to your neighborhood). Cut off your electricity and turn off the gas. Make a final walk-through inspection of your home, and leave. Be alert for flooding. Think: Turn around, don’t drown. Be patient and careful and kind on the road out.
Resources for Hurricane Preparation
TexasPrepares.org Disaster preparedness and awareness in Texas
2-1-1: Shelter, food and disaster services
7-1-1: Relay Service
1-800-452-9292 : TxDOT statewide road closures
Drivetexas.org Flooded roads and conditions
Texas Division of Emergency Management Hurricane awareness and preparation
Ready.gov Plan ahead for disasters
National Flood Insurance Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage
Red Cross Safe & Well Register yourself as “Safe and Well” or search for loved ones online