As Texans, we deal with such unpredictable weather that it’s been possible to experience all four seasons in one week. That’s why, when Texas hurricane season comes around, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
Because over 300 miles of the state of Texas sits on the Gulf Coast, it’s essential for residents in the area to be well prepared for a potentially devastating storm. We put together this list of tips and links to help you beat the storm and prepare your Texas home or business for severe weather.
When is Hurricane Season in Texas?
Hurricane season in Texas begins June 1 and ends on November 30, but severe Texas tropical storms are most likely to occur in mid-summer through late fall, especially during August and September.
Texas Hurricane Preparedness Tips
Below are our top tips for preparing for a tropical storm in Texas to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe and feel prepared.
Create an Emergency Supply Kit
Keep a kit of emergency supplies in your vehicle and your home in the event of a hurricane coming to Texas. Your emergency supply kit should include:
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Portable chargers for phones
- Bottled water and nonperishable food items
- Battery-powered portable radio or TV and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Hygiene items like toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, moist towelettes, and hand sanitizer
- Photocopies of important documents, like insurance, identification, birth and marriage certificates, and titles
- Any supplies needed for infants, such as diapers, baby food, and formula
- Any supplies needed for pets
- Maps showing county roads and highways
Protect Your Roof
To prepare for hurricanes in Texas, clean your gutters and trim any loose or flimsy tree branches away from your roof. If your gutters aren’t draining properly or branches knock roofing shingles loose, water can seep into your home and lead to mold problems. If you have the time and funds, you may also consider installing hurricane straps or clips to provide your roof with additional resistance against heavy winds.
Prevent Broken Glass
Closing up doors and windows during hurricanes in Texas can help reduce the risk of injury from broken glass. Bring lawn furniture and decorations inside, as they can be picked up by wind and blown into doors or windows. Plan now for where you will store these items in the event of a storm.
Establish an Emergency Plan
Assign responsibilities to each member of your household to prepare your home for a storm. Be sure to go over your emergency plan with everyone, especially children, so they know where to go and what to do in the event of a hurricane in Texas.
Monitor Storm Progress
The severity of hurricanes can change quickly, so it’s important to keep track of how the Texas tropical storm is affecting your area. Be sure to sign up for local county or community emergency alerts and download apps that can help you monitor the storm’s progress. Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross offer apps that track local weather conditions. The Red Cross’s app also includes basic first aid instructions.
Know Evacuation Routes
If you need to evacuate your home, follow emergency routes outlined by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). Routes for coastal areas are available on TXDOT’s website, and you can familiarize yourself with these plans at any time. If your area is under mandatory evacuation, you should leave as quickly as possible.
Have a Plan for Pets
Always include your household pets in your Texas hurricane emergency and evacuation plans. Pack items your pets will need, such as food, medications, leashes, and collars, and be sure to carry copies of vaccination records. Make sure you have a current photo of each of your pets just in case they become lost, and never leave your pets behind when evacuating.
Understand What to Do if You Lose Power
During a power outage, keep your refrigerator door closed as often as possible to keep your food cold, and be sure to turn off any propane tanks you have. Power surges will likely occur as service is restored, so you should unplug any sensitive electronics or plug them into a surge protector.
Related: Learn how utilities work in Texas.
As a Texas resident, it’s important to understand deregulated power and where to report a power outage. You can report electricity service interruptions to the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) in your area. Power outages may occur because of storm damage to power lines or other infrastructure. If you see a downed or sagging power line in your neighborhood, do not approach it. Power lines carry high-voltage electricity that is extremely dangerous. Instead, contact your TDU immediately and make a report.