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An extensive and comprehensive web site providing personal Hurricane Preparedness information.  This site includes checklists and other useful information as you and your family prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm.

The material contained in these pages are the author's opinions, and do not reflect that of any other person or entity.  You are advised to seek expert opinion if you have questions or concerns about your specific emergency preparedness situation.

About This Website
This website is a non-commercial endeavor to help folks prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes; especially along the Gulf of Mexico coast.  You can send questions or comments to the author at HurricaneHaskell@gmail.comI will endeavor to answer within 24 hours, and can usually answer them on the same day.  Since this is a non-commercial endeavor, you will not receive unwanted emails, and your contact info will never be sold to a third party.  


Hurricane Preparedness Home Page

If you live along one of the areas prone to hurricanes, then hopefully you've taken some time to make preparations in case a storm heads in your direction.  Whether you're a seasoned coastal veteran, or just getting started for the first time, the material on this web site should help you with your hurricane (and general emergency) preparedness.

One of the most dangerous things that person can do is procrastinate their hurricane preparations.  If you don't believe you can get killed trying to obtain gasoline, withdraw cash from an ATM, or buy the last loaf of bread in a store right before a storm, then you should have witnessed the madness in Harris County before Hurricane Rita.  Though most of the residents were orderly, law abiding citizens, there were numerous reports of hot tempers and desperate actions all across the area.  By having your supplies ahead of time and keeping your vehicle's gas tank at least half full, you can greatly reduce your stress and chance of running into danger before the storm even arrives.

What Happened To The Seasonal Forecast?
For the 13+ years I've been teaching hurricane preparedness, I've always shared the seasonal forecast, then promptly told everyone to ignore it.  After all, it only takes one tropical storm or hurricane to make it a bad year for a lot of people.  So it occurred to me that it is counter-intuitive to share information that may not be relevant, so I've discontinued doing so.

If I'm not sharing the seasonal forecast, then how do you know what you should do to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season?  That answer is simple: Prepare every year as if this will be the year that a hurricane strikes your community!  Even if the seasonal forecast was 100% accurate, it cannot give you an indication as to where the storms may go on any given year.  So it's futile to look to use a seasonal forecast as a guide on how you should prepare for the hurricane season.

To highlight the vagaries of seasonal forecast, let me share a couple of examples.  In 2010, the meteorological conditions were nearly identical to what was observed in 2005 (the year that brought us the horrific Hurricanes Rita and Katrina!).  Meteorologists and government officials alike expected that year to be one marked by numerous storms and extensive devastation in the United States.  Yet there was not a single land-falling hurricane in the US that year!  It was a very active season, but two strong areas of high pressure kept the hurricanes off both the East Coast and out of the Gulf of Mexico, sparing us from any direct hits.  Conversely, 1983 was the quietest season in 53 years.  However one of those storms, Hurricane Alicia, roared onto the Texas coast killing 21 people and causing billions of dollars in damage to the Houston-Galveston area.

When people attend my seminar, the question always comes up as to how I'm personally preparing for the upcoming hurricane season.  And I always tell them the same thing: Hope for the best, but plan for the worst!  Whether the forecast looks like it will be especially ominous or extremely calm, we start making our preparations in May and get ready for whatever nature throws at us for the next six months!


When Is The Peak of Hurricane Season?
 

The peak of hurricane season (for the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the 
Gulf of Mexico) is from mid-August to late October


Things You Should Do NOW!

There are several things that you should do now in preparation for not only a hurricane, but to be ready for nearly any emergency situation that may arise.

First, start with a checklist.  I've included several checklist throughout this web site to help get you going.  You can use these lists as the starting point for your own, then add and subtract as appropriate.  With these lists, you can more objectively evaluate your needs, estimate the cost and prioritize your purchases.  

The next step is to take your prioritized checklist and acquire any emergency medical and health-related items.  This is especially important for those who may take medications required to sustain their health.  A month's supply of critical medications is the minimum recommended quantity for most situations.  Seek your health care provider's opinion if you have any questions.

From here, you can essentially start working your way down the list of priorities.  Food and water should obviously be at the top of the list.  Once you've got the primary life sustaining items covered, then you should work on the safety and logistical items.  This includes gathering and storing all of you important papers and cash where you can access it quickly when the time comes.  These should be kept in a safe, waterproof container.

Keep in mind that in any emergency situation, cash is king!  ATM machines will empty days before the storm, and even some small banks may run low.  Try to have some cash on hand before the storm arrives.  Also, have a portion of your cash in small denominations since armored cars won't be running and stores may run out of small bills.  If phone lines are down, credit card process may grind to a halt and cash may be the only way to purchase essential items.  Also, for emergency repairs after the storm, many contractors will prefer cash.

Also of great importance are the items you'll need to get by for a few days without utilities, especially electricity.  This includes battery powered flashlights and lanterns, a good AM/FM/Weather radio, and perhaps a battery powered portable television.

Before the season gets into full swing, if you have a generator, you should also ensure it is still operational.  If you left gasoline in the tank that had not been treated with a stabilizer to keep it from going bad, it probably won't start and may need repair.  If your generator does require repair, right before hurricane season is when most repair shops really start to get busy, and the wait can be several weeks to complete your service!  That's why I always admonish those with generators to test them early and have them serviced long before hurricane season.

 I also recommend that you not only start your generator, but also plug in a load (a 1,500 watt space heater is great for generators rated at 2,000 watts and above) since it will be enough of a load to at least exercise most portable generators.  With the load attached, run the generator for about 15-20 minutes to ensure it is functioning properly.  Click on the generator tab above for more tips on how to care for your generator, including treating the fuel to prevent future problems with the carburetor.

If you are elderly or have special needs, and will need help evacuating, you should dial 211 in the City of Houston for the Texas/United Way help line.


My Extensive Hurricane Preparedness Checklists

I think you will find this comprehensive spreadsheet useful for almost every aspect of your hurricane preparedness.  It  not only covers food and supplies, but also has several checklist that covers everything from home preparations to evacuation supplies.   Remember, you will need to customize this list for your particular needs. 

Click here for the Hurricane Checklist - Excel Format

Click here for the Hurricane Checklist - PDF Format



Useful Links

Weather

National Weather Service - Houston

National Hurricane Center

Harris County Office of Emergency Management

Galveston County Office of Emergency Management

Mike's Weather Page - Tons of Useful Links


 Miscellaneous

Houston Transtar Traffic Map

CenterPoint Outage Tracker

CenterPoint Outage StormCenter


About the Author


My name is Haskell Moore, and I'm just an average guy with a desire to help friends (including those I've not yet met), neighbors and co-workers prepare for hurricanes and the devastation they can bring.
  My goal is to keep the information on this site as fresh and current as possible, and to help spread the word about how to get ready and stay prepared in case a hurricane heads your way.

My sincere hope for you is that you take a few minutes and read over this material (and the related links), create a prioritized checklist, then get started on your own hurricane preparedness!

 amateur ham radio, Haskell Moore, W5HLM.

 

Owner: Haskell L. Moore
All articles are property of the owner, and may not be reproduced in whole or part without
written permission from the author. Copyright © 2008 - 2018.
Email me at: HurricaneHaskell@gmail.com