Houston, Are You Ready? Protect Yourself and Your Family

Why Emergency Preparedness Matters in Houston

Houston, with its vibrant culture and booming economy, is a fantastic place to call home. However, its location near the Gulf Coast also makes it vulnerable to weather events like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Being prepared can make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major crisis. Let’s dive into the essentials of Houston emergency preparedness.

image source: https://www.hhc.org/services/emergency-medical-services/emergency-preparedness-management/

Why Emergency Preparedness Matters in Houston

  • Develop a family emergency plan. Discuss where you’ll meet if separated, how you’ll contact each other, and what your evacuation routes will be. Practice this plan regularly so everyone knows what to do in a real emergency.
  • Assemble an emergency kit. Include non-perishable food, a gallon of water per person per day, first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, and sanitation essentials. Consider the specific needs of your family members (medications, pet supplies, etc.).
  • Stay informed about the weather. Download weather apps, sign up for local emergency alerts, and have a battery-operated radio on hand in case of power outages. Knowing what’s coming gives you time to act.

Additional Considerations

  • Flood insurance. Standard homeowners’ policies don’t cover floods. If your area is at risk, flood insurance can be a lifesaver.
  • Hurricane preparation. Secure outdoor items, board up windows if necessary, and have a plan for where you’ll go if evacuation is ordered. Don’t wait until the last minute!
  • Know your risk zones. Does your neighborhood have a history of flooding or lie within hurricane evacuation zones? This information can be found on the City of Houston website and will help you tailor your preparations.

Additional Considerations

  • Flooding Flash floods can happen with little warning. Seek higher ground immediately and never attempt to drive through flooded roadways. Remember, “Turn around, don’t drown!”
  • Hurricanes Follow instructions from local authorities. If evacuation is ordered, leave promptly. If sheltering at home, have enough supplies to last several days and stay away from windows.
  • Tornadoes Seek shelter immediately in the lowest level of your home, like a basement or interior room without windows. If you’re caught outside, try to find a sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch and cover your head. 

Weather in Houston, Texas

House Buyers Houston
Cristelle Avellaneda

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Frequently Asked Questions

Great question! The City of Houston website has resources for building your plan. Start by discussing possible emergencies with your family, then consider where you might evacuate to and how you’ll communicate. Even a basic plan is better than no plan!

Water is vital! Aim to have one gallon per person, per day for at least three days. Food is essential too, but clean water is truly non-negotiable in a crisis.

Absolutely! Find out from your building manager about their emergency procedures, especially if you live on a higher floor. Have your own supply kit and a plan for where you’ll go if evacuation becomes necessary.

Check the FEMA Flood Map Service Center (https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home). You can search by address and learn your property’s flood risk. This helps determine if you should consider flood insurance.

Yes! Focus on one task at a time – build your communication plan one week, start your emergency kit the next. Any bit of preparedness you do makes you safer than having done nothing at all.