Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30. If you live near the Texas Gulf Coast, it’s important that you have a plan, build a hurricane preparedness kit, and stay informed.
Have an Emergency Plan
Planning ahead means being prepared if a hurricane is headed your way.
The first step in the family emergency plan is to hold a family meeting to communicate the serious nature of hurricane season and what’s needed. Next, talk about where you would evacuate to, if needed, and where you would meet, if separated. Make sure everyone understands the plan and their role.
Then, have a communications plan. This can include a group text, a family Facebook group, or using WhatsApp. During an emergency, phone lines may be jammed. You can send text messages even if you have a limited signal.
This emergency plan template from Ready.gov helps you check all the boxes of what to include in your emergency plan. And below you can see the steps in hurricane preparedness.
Once you have your evacuation and communications plan complete, it’s time to build a Hurricane Preparedness Kit.
Build a Hurricane Preparedness Kit
Your storm kit should be ready to go at the beginning of the storm season, so you can avoid the last minute dash to the store (with everyone else). Here are some of the items you will need in your hurricane kit. We’ve included handy links to some of our favorite items on Amazon!
- 3-day supply of non-perishable food
- 3-day supply of water (1 gallon per person or pet per day)
- Manual can opener
- Bug spray
- Whistle, to attract attention in an emergency
- Plastic cups (preferably re-usable), paper plates, napkins and toilet paper
- Important documents, in a waterproof pouch (or, upload photos of documents to your phone or the cloud!) You may need a copy of a utility bill and/or insurance policy to return to your home if it is damaged and you have to evacuate.
- First aid kit
- Emergency radio, preferably with solar power back-up
- Flashlight(s) and extra batteries
- Pet food, diapers and baby food (if applicable)
- Emergency cooking source, such as a campstove, gas grill, propane grill or charcoal grill
And from experience, if you have kids, add these items to your hurricane preparedness kit for families.
- Portable charger for cell phone and other electronics
- Solar powered phone charger
- Card games for grown ups (our favorite – Cards Against Humanity) and for kids (Uno is always a winner)
- Battery powered lantern or a solar powered lantern with built in USB charger
- Battery powered fan
You don’t have to spend a lot to set up your hurricane kit. Make a trip to your local Dollar Store to stock up on hurricane supplies.
Build a Hurricane Go-Bag for your Pet
Don’t forget your furry friends! Houston Dog Mom, a local dog blogger, lists the following for your pet go-bag for storm prep:
- Extra leashes
- Your pet’s identification and registration number
- A photo of your pet, specifically taken for identification! Take detailed photos of front, both sides, and stomach. Upload them to Google Photo for safekeeping.
- Vaccination records (take a picture and upload to Google Photo)
- Any medications and prescriptions
- 3-5 days supply of pet food and bottled water
- Pet first aid kit
- Familiar blanket for reassurance when in a strange place
- Collapsible carrier or crate
- Doggie poop bags or cat litter as applicable
- Calming spray, calming chews and/or thundershirt if your dog typically uses these in a storm
During the Storm
During a hurricane, please use common sense.
If there is storm damage, stay in your home, rather than driving around to sight see. Emergency response vehicles need to have the roads clear so they can pass. If there is flooding and you are on the road, proceed carefully through any standing water. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.
Your electronic devices and electricity and gas-powered appliances may also be damaged from the storm, either from a power surge, or from water.
Review our 21 Tips to Manage Your Home Utilities in a Hurricane. If flood waters entered your home, it’s best to call an electrician to see if there’s any damage, before you turn the electricity back on.