Preparing for Hurricane Season in Texas - NEC Coop
Sep 19, 2020
Hurricane Laura recently slammed ashore and wreaked havoc in Texas. The category 4 hurricane caused damaging winds and life-threatening storm surges, battering the affected regions with flooding rain. Now, the active storms in the Gulf of Mexico have a chance of impacting South Texas.
In some parts of the United States, tropical storms and hurricanes affect largely the coastal regions, but this is not always the case. They can leave a path of devastation for miles, and catch families off guard if they are not used to a violent weather event.
Experts warn that COVID-19 and changes in climate are recipes for a perfect storm that will surely make handling a natural disaster harder. Hence, preparing for hurricane season is more important than ever. You will find a lot of helpful tips at Ready.gov. We’ve narrowed down the guidelines into five essential measures that you should take, especially during these special times.
Have a go-bag ready
Pack a go-bag long before hurricane season starts. It should have all the family’s emergency supplies. For a full list, check out the National Weather Service disaster supplies guide.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families should have a few extra essentials. They include:
- 2 to 3 face masks for every family member
- Latex gloves
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
These supplies will help protect your family against the virus even if you are at the shelter.
Water and non-perishable food
Keeping water and non-perishable food items that is good for at least five days is now more important than ever. You do not want to be in a crowded store fighting to get supplies just when a storm is about to hit. Aim to have at least a gallon of water per family member per day.
Plan out escape routes
Thousands of people take to the highway once an evacuation order is made. It’s often better to avoid major highways and take back roads when evacuating. Plan out your escape routes to avoid dangerous delays during an approaching storm.
Secure a safe place to shelter
This could be one of the biggest challenges during the hurricane season this year. Since shelters could not be packed at maximum capacity to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19, it’s best that your family secures a safe place to stay in advance, one that is well out of the storm’s path.
Know who to call
Do you have the numbers for national and local emergency centers? Every minute counts during an emergency. It will make a huge difference for your family’s safety if you have these emergency numbers ahead of time:
- Family members and friends
- Local weather service
- Local fire and police department
- Local hospital
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Utility Provider
During emergencies, it is extremely vital to have electricity, especially when a family member has a health condition. And the sooner you are able to report a power outage, the better.
At NEC Co-op Energy, your Texas electricity company, we encourage you to write the number of your utility company down. Check with your electric, water, or gas companies to identify which number is best to use during a hurricane.
- Centerpoint – 1-800-332-7143
- Oncor – 1-888-313-4747
- AEP – 1-866-223-8508
- TNMP – 1-888-866-7456
- WTU – 1-866-223-8508
When it comes to preparing for hurricane season, it’s best not to delay. Make good use of your time and resources during fair weather so your family is prepared when nasty weather hits.
“Hurricane Laura: The latest on storm’s impact on Texas, Louisiana” Chron, https://www.chron.com/news/houston-weather/hurricanes/guide/article/Hurricane-Laura-The-latest-on-storm-s-impact-15518802.php
“Hurricanes” Ready.gov, https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
“National Hurricane Preparedness,” National Weather Service, https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness
“Assemble Disaster Supplies (Hurricane Preparedness)” Weather.gov, https://www.weather.gov/wrn/2020-hurricane-supplies