6 Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane

May 30, 2023 | Weather

When it comes to hurricanes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. We know that our Lone Star State is no stranger to the power of Mother Nature, and that’s why it’s crucial to take proactive steps to safeguard our homes, valuables, and, most importantly, our loved ones during a hurricane. After reviewing our forecast for this upcoming hurricane season, grab a sweet tea, sit back, and let’s walk through the essential tips and tricks for hurricane preparation. Let’s batten down the hatches and show these storms who’s boss!


Preparing for a hurricane is more than just putting up boards and stocking up on canned beans. It’s about having a solid plan, ensuring you have all the necessary supplies, and staying informed every step of the way. So, let’s dive into our Texas-sized hurricane preparedness guide and learn how to protect what matters most when the storm clouds roll in!


Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

Preparing your home for a hurricane is a comprehensive task that involves safeguarding both the inside and outside of your property. In this article, we’ll provide a range of tips to help you fortify your home against the elements. From securing the interior to protecting the exterior, we’ve got you covered with valuable insights and strategies to ensure your home is well-prepared for any approaching storm.


Tips for Inside Your Home

When it comes to hurricane preparedness, taking measures to protect the inside of your home is vital. By making certain adjustments and preparations, you can minimize potential damage, maintain safety, and preserve the well-being of your family. In this section, we’ll discuss essential tips and strategies to fortify the interior of your home, ensuring it remains a safe haven during a hurricane.


Secure Heavy Furniture: Anchor heavy furniture pieces, such as bookshelves, cabinets, and entertainment centers, to the wall to prevent them from toppling over during strong winds. Use brackets or straps designed for this purpose.

Safeguard Valuables: Got any valuable possessions like jewelry, irreplaceable photos, or sentimental items? Protect them by placing them in a location where they’re secure. You may also want them to be accessible to you in case you need to evacuate and need to take them with. Consider using a safe or storing documents in waterproof containers.


Create a Home Inventory: Document your possessions by creating a detailed home inventory. Take photos or videos of each room, noting valuable items and their approximate value. This can be helpful for insurance purposes in case of damage or loss.


Check Emergency Supplies: Set a calendar reminder to periodically review and restock your emergency supplies. It’s never a bad idea to make sure you’re stocked on non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, a first-aid kit, and necessary medications.


Secure Garage Doors: Reinforce garage doors with braces or install hurricane-resistant ones. Garage doors are often vulnerable to high winds, and their failure can damage your home significantly.


By taking these additional precautions inside your home and garage, you’ll fortify your property against the potential impact of a hurricane. Remember, it’s better to be prepared and have peace of mind than to scramble in the midst of a storm.


Tips for Outside Your Home

While preparing the inside of your home is crucial, don’t overlook the outside. The exterior of your home is often the first line of defense against a hurricane. By implementing practical measures and precautions, you can minimize the risk of damage and help protect the structural integrity of your property.


Secure Loose Objects: Walk around your property and secure or store any loose objects that could become dangerous projectiles in high winds. This includes patio furniture, grills, garden tools, and any other items that could be picked up by strong gusts.


Reinforce Windows and Doors: Install hurricane shutters or use plywood to cover windows and protect them from flying debris. Strengthen doors with braces or reinforce them with heavy-duty bolts to withstand powerful winds.


Trim Trees and Remove Weak Branches: Trim branches close to your home that could potentially fall and cause damage during a storm. Remove any weak or diseased trees that could pose a threat to your property or neighboring structures.


Clear Gutters and Downspouts: Ensure that your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to prevent water from overflowing and causing damage to your home’s foundation. Proper drainage is crucial during heavy rainfall.


Check and Secure Roofing: Inspect your roof for loose or damaged shingles and repair them promptly. Consider reinforcing your roof with hurricane straps or clips to prevent it from being uplifted by strong winds.


Secure Outdoor Structures: If you have sheds, gazebos, or other outdoor structures, make sure they are properly anchored or securely fastened to the ground. Reinforce them to withstand hurricane-force winds.


Remember, preparing your home ahead of time can significantly reduce the risk of damage and provide you with greater peace of mind during a hurricane. By following these tips and ensuring the structural integrity of your property, you’ll be better equipped to face whatever Mother Nature sends your way.


Stock Up on Supplies You’ll Need During the Storm

When a hurricane approaches, having essential supplies readily available can make a significant difference in your ability to weather the storm. Here’s a comprehensive hurricane preparation shopping list to help you stock up on the necessary supplies:


Non-Perishable Food: Gather a supply of non-perishable food items that require no refrigeration or cooking. Include canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, and other long-lasting snacks.


Drinking Water: Store an ample supply of drinking water, aiming for at least one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days. You may even want to fill containers with water in advance if your supplies are low.


Batteries and Flashlights: Keep a good supply of batteries in various sizes to power your flashlights and other essential devices. LED flashlights are particularly efficient and long-lasting.


First-Aid Kit: Assemble a well-stocked first-aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic solution, adhesive tape, pain relievers, tweezers, scissors, and necessary medications. Make sure you have any necessary prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medications for ailments such as headaches, allergies, or upset stomachs.


Hygiene Items: Include personal hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, wet wipes, toilet paper, feminine supplies, and any other items needed for personal care.


Battery-Powered Radio: Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to stay informed about the latest weather updates and emergency instructions, as well as access to local news and information.


Pet Supplies: If you have pets, stock up on their food, water, medications, and any necessary pet supplies. Include pet carriers, leashes, and identification tags in your emergency kit.


Do yourself a favor and these supplies well in advance of a forecasted hurricane to avoid last-minute rushes and potential shortages. Additionally, stop by the ATM on the way home and get a small amount of cash to keep on hand, as ATMs and credit card machines may not be operational during power outages.


Create an Emergency Kit

Okay, now that you’ve done your shopping and gathered all the essential supplies, it’s time to put your emergency kit together. It could be in a box, a waterproof storage container, or just occupy a few shelves in a closet. Wherever you keep your emergency items, make sure it’s a location that’s both secure and accessible. Inform your family members of its location and how to access it quickly. Regularly check and replenish supplies, replace expired items, and update documents as needed to ensure your emergency kit remains ready for any situation.


Remember, being prepared is the key to effectively handling a hurricane or any other emergency. With your well-stocked and carefully assembled emergency kit, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are ready to face the storm.


In addition to the items described in the previous section, you can also include blankets, extra clothing, and sturdy shoes for each family member to stay warm and comfortable during the storm. Keep copies of essential documents in a waterproof bag or container. This includes identification papers, insurance policies, medical records, and contact information for family members and emergency services.


Depending on your needs, you may consider adding items such as a whistle, multipurpose tool, duct tape, extra batteries for electronic devices, a portable phone charger, and a list of emergency contact numbers.


Create a Hurricane Evacuation Plan and Choose a Safe Place to Go if Necessary

Preparing for a hurricane goes beyond readying your home and gathering supplies. It also involves creating a well-thought-out hurricane evacuation plan. By assembling a well-defined evacuation plan and choosing a safe place to go if necessary, you can navigate through the storm with confidence and ensure the well-being of your family. Here are a few tips to help you be prepared.


Pick a Safe Place to Go: Identify a safe place to go if evacuation becomes necessary. This could be a relative’s home outside the hurricane-affected area, a friend’s house, or a designated emergency shelter. Consider factors like distance, accessibility, and the ability to accommodate your needs and those of your family, including any pets.


Establish Communication Channels: Set up a communication plan with your family members or loved ones and ensure everyone knows how to communicate in case of separation.


Know the Evacuation Routes: Research and familiarize yourself with the designated evacuation routes in your area. These routes are established to ensure safe and efficient evacuation during emergencies. You can view evacuation maps for Texas at: https://www.txdot.gov/safety/severe-weather/hurricane-preparation.html.


Locate Emergency Shelters: Find out the locations of nearby emergency shelters in your community. These shelters provide temporary refuge for individuals and families who need to evacuate their homes.


Plan for Special Considerations: Take into account any special considerations for family members with disabilities, medical conditions, or unique needs. Ensure you have the necessary supplies, medications, and equipment readily available to support your well-being during the evacuation process.


Stay Informed: Stay tuned to local news sources, official announcements, and weather updates for the latest information on evacuation orders and emergency instructions. Follow the guidance of local authorities and heed any warnings or advisories issued.


Tune In for Weather Alerts and Warnings

Remember how we said to stay informed? That’s an important one. Tuning into weather alerts and listening for warnings is crucial for staying ahead of a hurricane. Remember, weather conditions can change rapidly during a hurricane, and official warnings are crucial for your safety. Stay alert, keep your devices charged and connected, and follow the instructions and advice provided by local authorities.


If you’re in a high-impact zone, you may want to consider getting a NOAA Weather Radio. This specialized radio receiver broadcasts continuous weather information directly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This radio is designed to provide emergency alerts, watches, and warnings, even when power and internet services are disrupted.


Hurricane Preparedness: Stay Safe, Stay Ready, and Weather the Storm With Energy Texas!

As the saying goes, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” By being proactive and taking the necessary precautions, you can face a hurricane with confidence and resilience. To further enhance your hurricane preparedness, check out our other article on hurricane preparation tips. It provides a comprehensive guide to safeguarding your home, gathering essential supplies, and creating an effective evacuation plan. Together, let’s ensure that we are ready to weather any storm that comes our way.


Stay safe, stay prepared, and let Energy Texas be your partner in hurricane readiness!

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