Stay calm, get informed and be prepared on readying yourself and property for hurricanes and severe weather disasters in the Houston and Galveston region.
After a relatively quiet start to the hurricane season in 2021, atmospheric conditions are expected to shift in the coming months, making for more tropic activity in the Gulf as we get deeper into hurricane season, which ends Tuesday, November 30.
That makes it vital to plan and prepare ahead of time so that when the moment comes, you can protect yourself, your family, pets and belongings. Even with the tropics quiet, things can escalate quickly so you’ll want to make sure you have your checklist in order before that happens.
We’ve gathered local and national resources that are hugely important in the lead up to severe weather, as well as ways you can start preparing for storms today.
Hurricane Preparedness Resources
Before any storms take to shore, your hurricane and severe weather planning hinges on staying informed with accurate, up-to-date information from trusted resources. Here are some important places to start:
- National Hurricane Center – The central hub where many news outlets draw from for their information, the National Hurricane Center provides multiple daily updates on tropical developments, armed with first-hand information obtained from their reconnaissance planes that track wind speeds, rainfall and intensity.
- Space City Weather – A Houston must in your browser bookmarks, this localized no-hype forecast from Eric Berger and Matt Lanza provides level-headed information based on the latest developments, helping users stay informed as storms make their way ashore. Not just for hurricane season, Space City Weather is also vital for any moment that severe weather descends upon Houston. Plus, their newly released app for iPhones and Android makes a great go-to companion to stay on top of local weather.
- Harris County Flood Warning System – Create an account and sign up to receive phone alerts from this local government resource that provides up-to-the-minute information on flood levels across Houston and Harris County.
- Ready Harris – In times of disaster, this Harris County resource provides essential information for preparedness, the latest on tropical threats, and support systems that crop up across the region following severe weather and other disasters.
- Houston Transtar Map – While you shouldn’t be on the roads during a severe storm (especially in flood-prone Houston), the Transtar Map can help in the days following, providing you frequently updated info so you know where you can and can’t go before you leave the house.
- Houston Chronicle Weather – In the days leading up to and after a severe weather disaster, the local paper remains one of the best places to get in-depth reporting on the unfolding situations across the region, including things like electricity restoration, relief efforts, and assistance information.
Hurricane Preparedness Guides & Checklists
Now that you’re equipped with important, accurate information on tropical threats, it’s time to get your preparedness checklists together. Here are a few ways you can prepare your household for severe weather events:
- Storm Ready: A Hurricane Preparedness Special – Produced by Ready Harris in association with Houston Public Media, this highly informational half-hour broadcast special walks you through what to expect and how to prepare for severe tropical weather.
- Ready Harris Emergency Essentials Checklist – This printable one-sheet will get you prepared for an extended severe weather disaster, covering food, first aid, communication, and hygiene, as well as baby and pet needs.
- National Weather Service Hurricane & Severe Weather Guide – This seventeen-page guide is localized to the Houston and Galveston region, providing a deep dive on hurricane and severe weather. Along with discovering other resources to check out, the guide helps explain weather events like storm surges, damaging winds and evacuation routes, as well as preparation steps from checklists to insurance coverage.
- CDC: Pet Safety in Emergencies – The Center for Disease Control provides guides and checklists for ensuring ways to keep your pets safe and healthy during the event of a severe weather disaster.
- NWS & NOAA Hurricane Preparedness Guide – From the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this Hurricane Preparedness Guide will help you consider the risks and safety measures required in hurricane season, as well as helpful ways to assemble a plan and supplies.