6 More Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane

May 31, 2023 | Weather

We all know how Texas weather can be unpredictable, especially during hurricane season. At Energy Texas, we’re here to lend a hand and ensure you’re fully equipped to handle any storm that blows your way. That’s why we’ve provided our 2023 Hurricane Forecast, and in this article, we’re sharing six Texan-approved tips that’ll have you ready to ride out the hurricane season like a true Lone Star hero. So, grab your cowboy hat and let’s saddle up for a storm-proof adventure!


1. Get Your Car Ready to Evacuate

Preparing your car for a possible evacuation is important to your hurricane preparedness plan. When a storm threatens mobility, having a vehicle ready to hit the road can significantly improve your safety and peace of mind. Below are a few tips to ensure your vehicle is prepared for any potential evacuation scenario so you reach your destination safely.


Check the Tires: Ensure that your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth. Consider switching to all-weather or winter tires for enhanced traction on wet or slippery roads.


Fill Up the Gas Tank: Keep your fuel tank at least half full at all times during hurricane season. Gas stations may be closed or have long lines during an evacuation, so you must have enough fuel to reach your destination.


Stock Emergency Supplies: Pack a roadside emergency kit with essentials like a spare tire, jack, jumper cables, flashlight, and basic tools. Include extra water, non-perishable snacks, and a first aid kit.


Secure Important Documents: Place important vehicle documents, such as registration, insurance papers, and identification, in a waterproof bag or folder. For extra space-saving, store digital copies securely in the cloud or on a USB drive. Most insurance companies offer digital IDs and policies via their app. 


Charge Your Devices: Make sure your mobile phone and other essential electronic devices are fully charged before an evacuation. Consider having a portable power bank for backup power.


Plan Your Route: Identify evacuation routes and alternative roads in case of closures or congestion. Stay updated on traffic conditions and follow the guidance of local authorities.


2. Store Important Documents Securely

Protecting important documents during a hurricane is essential for your peace of mind and recovery process. Remember to periodically update your documents and backups to include any recent changes or additions. Here are some actionable tips to help you store your documents and have them ready to go with you in case of an evacuation.


Identify Critical Documents: First thing first — which documents are critical? The obvious ones will include identification cards, passports, birth certificates, social security cards, property deeds, insurance policies, medical records, and financial documents. Make a comprehensive list to ensure you don’t miss anything.


Use Waterproof Containers: Invest in waterproof storage solutions like sealable plastic bags, envelopes, or fireproof/waterproof safes. Place your documents in these containers to keep them safe from water damage.


Digitize Documents: Consider scanning and saving your important documents in secure digital formats. Store them on encrypted external hard drives, cloud storage services, or password-protected USB drives. Make sure to use strong passwords and keep multiple backups.


Protect Physical Copies: If you prefer to keep physical copies, use waterproof binders or folders to store your documents. Place them in a secure, elevated location away from potential water intrusion, such as high shelves or upper floors.


Create Backups: Make duplicates of your documents and store them in different locations. This ensures you have backups in case one set gets damaged or inaccessible.


3. Got Pets? Put Together an Animal Evacuation Kit

When preparing for a hurricane, it’s important to remember that your furry friends need special care and consideration too. Creating an animal evacuation kit ensures you have everything you need to keep your pets safe and comfortable during an emergency. From food and water to essential supplies and identification, you can ensure the well-being of your beloved pets and have peace of mind during a hurricane or evacuation.

  • Prepare a portable pet kit with essential supplies like food, water, medications, and toys.
  • Keep a current photo of your pet and have copies of vaccination records and identification tags.
  • Include a leash, harness, and carrier in your kit for safe transportation.
  • Research pet-friendly shelters or hotels in case you need to evacuate.
  • Make sure your pet’s microchip information and contact details are up to date.
  • Pack any necessary items for your pet’s specific needs, such as litter and a litter box for cats.
  • Consider having a pet first aid kit with basic medical supplies.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers for veterinarians and animal control services.


4. Make Sure All Family Members Know the Plan

During a hurricane or emergency, it’s crucial to have a communication plan in place for your family. Having a well-thought-out communication plan and ensuring all family members are aware of it increases the chances of staying connected and reuniting safely. If communication methods are disrupted, having a well-defined plan becomes even more vital. Here’s what you need to know to ensure everyone is on the same page:


Establish a Designated Meeting Place: Choose a location where family members can reunite if separated. It could be a relative’s house, a community center, or another easily identifiable spot.


Designate a Primary Communication Method: Decide on one primary communication method that everyone will use to stay connected. It could be text messaging, a messaging app, or a designated social media platform. Make sure everyone knows how to use the chosen method.


Share Contact Information: Ensure each family member has a list of emergency contact numbers, including relatives, close friends, and out-of-state contacts. These contacts should be able to relay messages if cell phone towers or other services are down.


Establish Check-In Times: Set specific times for family members to check in with each other, even if it’s just a brief message to confirm their safety. Regular check-ins provide reassurance and help track each other’s well-being.


Review the Plan: Regularly review the communication plan with your family and practice it through drills or simulations. This will ensure everyone is familiar with the procedures and can act quickly and confidently during an actual emergency.


5. Discuss What to Do If Someone Becomes Displaced

Emergencies can be challenging and chaotic. That’s why in addition to having a primary plan, it’s also smart to discuss what to do in case someone becomes displaced. If someone in your family becomes displaced, make reuniting a top priority. Contact your designated point of contact and provide them with relevant information about the displaced family member’s whereabouts. Stay in communication and work together to establish a plan for reuniting as soon as it is safe. Encourage all family members to carry identification documents, such as driver’s licenses or identification cards, especially if they are separated from the group. Additionally, provide each person with a card or wristband containing emergency contact information, including the designated point of contact and other relevant numbers.


6. Take Photos or Videos for Insurance Purposes

Hurricanes frequently damage homes and property so it’s wise to capture visual documentation of your home before a storm so you can be prepared for insurance claims and assessing any potential damage. Use a digital camera or smartphone to take high-quality photos or videos, and take a walkthrough of your entire home, both inside and outside. 


Pay special attention to areas more prone to damage during a storm, such as windows, doors, roofs, and exterior structures. Capture any pre-existing issues or vulnerabilities that might be exacerbated by the storm. And don’t forget to take individual photos of valuable items, such as jewelry, electronics, furniture, and artwork. If possible, keep a record of serial numbers or identifying marks.


Transfer the photos or videos to a secure location, such as a cloud-based storage service or an external hard drive. This will ensure the documentation remains accessible even if your devices are damaged or lost. And periodically update your visual documentation as you make significant changes or additions to your home. This will ensure that your records are up to date and reflect the current state of your property.


Stay Prepared and Protected During Storm Season

As storm season approaches, it’s essential to be proactive and take steps to ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your property. By following these tips, you can better navigate the challenges of a storm. If you’re looking for more tips and information on storm preparedness, check out part 1 of this series for additional insights, expert advice, and practical steps to safeguard your home and loved ones against the uncertainties of stormy weather.

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