Hurricane Preparedness 101: Essential Tips for Every Household


As hurricane season approaches, it’s crucial for every household in Texas Forest Country to be prepared. Hurricanes can bring devastating winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding, posing significant risks to life and property. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare effectively, ensuring you and your family stay safe during these powerful storms.

Assembling an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is vital for your survival during a hurricane. According to FEMA and the Red Cross, a well-stocked emergency kit should include the following items:

  • Water: At least one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio: A NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
  • Flashlight: Extra batteries are essential.
  • First aid kit: Include necessary medications and medical supplies.
  • Whistle: To signal for help.
  • Dust mask: To help filter contaminated air.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape: To create a shelter if needed.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties: For personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers: To turn off utilities.
  • Manual can opener: For food.
  • Local maps: For navigation.
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery: To stay connected.

Having these items ready and easily accessible can make a significant difference in an emergency. For a more detailed list and customization options, visit FEMA’s Emergency Kit Checklist.

Creating a Family Communication Plan

Communication is crucial during a hurricane. Ensure your family knows how to stay in touch and where to go in case you get separated. Here’s how to create an effective family communication plan:

  1. Contact Information: Compile a list of emergency contacts, including family members, friends, neighbors, and local emergency services.
  2. Designated Meeting Spots: Choose two places to meet — one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.
  3. Emergency Contact: Identify an out-of-town relative or friend as a central point of contact for all family members.
  4. Communication Methods: Discuss how you will communicate during an emergency (e.g., text messages, social media, phone calls).
  5. Practice Regularly: Review and practice your plan regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do.

For a detailed family emergency communication plan template, visit the Red Cross Family Plan Template.

Understanding Evacuation Routes

Knowing the evacuation routes in your area can save lives. Here are steps to ensure you’re prepared:

  1. Know Your Zone: Familiarize yourself with your community’s hurricane evacuation zones and routes. This information can be found on your local government’s emergency management website.
  2. Plan Your Route: Identify multiple routes to ensure you have alternatives if your primary route is blocked.
  3. Keep Your Vehicle Ready: Ensure your car is in good working condition and keep the gas tank full during hurricane season.
  4. Stay Informed: Monitor local news and weather updates to stay informed about evacuation orders and traffic conditions.
  5. Shelter Locations: Know the locations of nearby shelters and have a plan for reaching them if necessary.

For local evacuation route maps and shelter information, visit the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Preparation is the key to safety during hurricane season. By assembling an emergency kit, creating a family communication plan, and understanding evacuation routes, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the potential dangers of hurricanes. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe.

For more information and resources, visit FEMA and the Red Cross.

  • Emergency kit List.
  • Family communication plan template.
  • Maps of local evacuation routes.

Stay tuned during this Texas Hurricane Preparedness  Week for more articles in our Hurricane Preparedness series, ensuring you are ready for whatever the season may bring.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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