Hurricane season, for the Houston area, runs from June 1st through November 30th. Harris County MUD 150 works very hard to ensure the local water systems are prepared and will keep running to the best of their ability during times of emergency. Below are some tips to help you prepare your own home.
- Create or update an inventory of personal property and store it in a safe location away from home to help protect yourself and your financial future. Record the make, model, serial number, purchase price and date of purchase of any new items and keep copies of receipts for major purchases with your inventory.
- Store copies of your insurance policies with your inventory in a safe location away from your home.
- Keep a list of contact details for your insurance agent and/or company with your policies.
- Make sure you have windstorm insurance. If your property is located in one of Texas’ 14 coastal counties, or parts of southeastern Harris County, your homeowners policy may not provide windstorm coverage. In such cases, you may be able to obtain coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association—visit www.twia.org for more information.
- Consider flood insurance. Homeowners and commercial property policies specifically exclude coverage for damage from flooding. To protect yourself from losses caused by rising water, you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy, typically from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Map out safe routes inland or to safer areas. If you live in a low-lying area, know where low-water crossings might make travel to safety more difficult and plan routes that avoid these areas.
- Find out the location of any nearby community shelters in case you must seek immediate shelter.
- When a hurricane watch is issued for your area, regularly check TV and radio for official weather bulletins.
- If you decide that it’s safe for you to stay, understand that you may be without electricity, fresh water, and phone service for some time and prepare accordingly. Stock up on canned goods and bottled water, check supplies of medicines and first-aid equipment, and check batteries in radios and flashlights.
- In case there is a disruption in local phone service, agree on a friend or relative who lives outside your immediate area who can serve as a point of contact for family members in an emergency.
- Protect windows, sliding glass doors, and skylights with shutters or plywood.
- Put your car in a garage or other shelter. Secure boats and trailers. Secure outdoor furniture and any other loose material outside.
- If possible, trim back any dead wood from trees. This will reduce the amount of wind stress on trees and eliminate potential damage from falling limbs.
- Move valuables away from windows and, if possible, to an upper floor.
- Bring pets indoors or make other arrangements for their safety. If you must seek shelter in a community shelter, understand that you may not be able to keep your pets with you. Contact your local humane society for information about animal shelters.
- If you are leaving your home, lock and secure the premises. Take small valuables and important documents with you.