It's hurricane season again in Texas. Just one year ago the world watched as Hurricane Katrina devasted Louisiana and the surrounding gulf states.
Kingwood and the Houston area helped many of the Katrina evacuees, and then one month later needed help themselves as Hurricane Rita threatened to hit Houston as a Category 5 hurricane. Luckily Rita shifted and downgraded to a category 3 before it hit, but the damage was still extensive.
Besides the power outages and debris scattered everywhere, the biggest inconveniences came during the last minute scramble trying to get ready before the hurricane hit. Here are a few tips to be prepared for the next emergency.
Have a Plan
Below are tips from FEMA on developing a family disaster plan.
- Develop a family disaster plan and know how to stay safe in a hurricane. Discuss what your family should do when a hurricane comes ashore and where you might go in an evacuation - to a shelter, hotel or to stay with family or friends. Don't forget about pets. Many shelters will not permit them, so plan in advance what to do with them.
- Know and review your evacuation routes and never drive through high water.
- Develop a family communication plan. Identify a friend or relative in another state or city to serve as a point of contact in case family members are separated.
Put together a disaster kit and store it in a portable container in case of evacuation. The kit should include:
- At least a three-day supply of food and bottled water for each family member;
- Battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries;
- First aid kit with family members' medications;
- A manual can opener;
- Emergency contact list and phone numbers;
- Hygiene and personal care items;
- Pet supplies;
- Copies of important papers and
- Emergency cash or credit card in the case of an evacuation with little notice.
Don't wait until the last minute to buy the supplies for your disaster kit when everyone else is making a mad dash to stock up. If you want to have a generator for the next time the power goes out, get it now along with the gas.
Don't forget lumber if you are going to board the windows.
City of Houston: The City of Houston sends out periodic newsletters with important updates.
Kingwood Chamber of Commerce: During Hurricane Rita, the Kingwood Chamber sent out information on the city's last minute arrangements for hurricane shelters in the Kingwood and Humble areas as well as organized clean-up crews after the storm had passed.
Emergency Preparedness Resources
- Houston Office of Emergency Management - Visit this site for a list of evacuation routes.