Listen up y’all, we need to talk about hurricane preparation.
Why do Texans need to be prepared for a hurricane? Hurricane season runs through the end of November. In 2020, we saw 23 named storms, with eight of those reaching hurricane status. That’s already five more named storms than previous years, and two more hurricanes.
As y’all know, parts of Texas have been hit hard by tropical storms and hurricanes in recent years. Hurricane Harvey in particular brought record rain levels, unprecedented flooding and over $125 billion of damage, according to one estimate.
While models for storm paths can be unpredictable, everyone can do their part by making sure they are as prepared as possible for mother nature. Not all of the advice you’ll see out there is super practical (replacing your roof, installing high-impact windows, etc.) so we’ll try to keep our hurricane preparation tips actionable and universal.
Without further ado…
Prepare in case of a hurricane or storm
1. Get waterproof containers for important belongings
Water damage is no joke. Anything valuable – whether it’s an expensive electronic device like a laptop or something sentimentally valuable like a photo album – should go into a big ol’ waterproof plastic tub. You should be able to find these pretty easily at your local hardware store. Just make sure to store it in a high place, just to be extra safe!
2. Copies of important documents (license, birth certificate, social security card, etc).
Do you enjoy standing in lines or sitting on hold for hours on end? No? Well then, you should do everything you can to make sure you never lose an important document! As part of your hurricane preparation you may also want to make sure that you have important phone numbers. In the state of emergency, there are many resources to help families and individuals get by. Make sure you know about emergency relief resources and how to get them.
3. Bottled water
So, this is the one that everyone will rush to stock up on. Trust us, we’d love to just stock up on Kool-Aid Blasters® and call it a day, but you’ll need to brush your teeth and whatnot – plus obviously water is super healthy and stuff.
4. Non-perishable food items
This one is the obvious one, but there’s a caveat: make sure you can actually eat whatever’s in the container. For example, if you’re stocking up on canned goods make sure you keep the can opener in your emergency kit. Sounds obvious but the last thing you’d want is to have food you can’t open.
5. Purchase portable USB charging banks
If you’re like us, you have DOZENS of these lying around. The trick is charging all of them – but once you do, you won’t have to worry about your phone running out of juice. Also, plenty of these have USB-C support – great for a Nintendo Switch (but obviously your phone is way more important in an emergency).
6. Personal hygiene products
Ever go on a trip and realize you forgot a toothbrush, and the ones sold at the hotel front desk are like, $5? Well, getting stranded at your house without power or clean water and not being able to get to your toothbrush is a thousand times worse.
7. First aid kit
Pretty straightforward here. Wounds aren’t fun. But not having a first aid kit to treat a wound, well that can be a nightmare.
8. A light source that isn’t your phone
Flashlights, electric lanterns, even unscented candles can do the trick for this one. The last thing you want to do is burn through your phone’s battery using its flashlight!
9. A few changes of clothes
Sweatpants, gym shorts, tank tops, etc. – doesn’t have to be fancy, should be functional and comfortable.
10. Books and board games
Hey, you gotta pass the time somehow, right? If you have roommates, a few games of Cards Against Humanity should help you pass the time.
11. Get refills on your prescriptions
Again, super obvious, but super important. Your hurricane preparation must include you having what you need in case you end up losing property.
12. Set aside food for your pets
They’re family too, y’all! And family members need to eat.
13. Unplug all electronic items and put them as high up as you can
Routers, video game systems, etc. – put that up in a high place where potential flood waters can’t get to it. Also in this category, but not electronic (unless you live in the future): area rugs! Roll those suckers up and put them on top of something.
For those home owners out there, we have some additional tips for y’all. Mostly because we realized that our list of tips ended at 13, and we aren’t sure if 13 is gonna be lucky for us or not.
14. Bring all patio furniture and outdoor decor inside
That potted plant you got last week, or the wind chime you got from the Secret Santa at work last Christmas, bring those items in along with chairs and trash cans and anything else that you don’t want flying through the air. If you’ve got space inside, that’s where your stuff should be.
15. Shutter or board up your windows
This advice is more for homeowners than renters, but if you’re renting make sure you yell at your landlord until they shore up your windows somehow.
16. Install a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door
Again, more for homeowners, but a weak deadbolt is no match for hurricane-force winds that can throw heavy objects around.
17. Trim tree branches within 10 feet of your home as part of hurricane preparation
Remember what we said about the potted plant above? Well a tree is just like a potted plant, only not in a pot and way bigger and you know what, at this point we’re just stating the obvious so let’s move on…
18. Clean out gutters
Too much debris and water means flooded gutters, which means a ton of damage. Clean those bad boys out!
The truth is, anything that you can do to prepare for severe weather is good, especially a storm as concerning as a hurricane. So take a minute to GET informed, GET what you need, so you are prepared when mother nature shows her nasty side. And if you are asked to GET OUT when the weather becomes too dangerous for you to sit through, please do so. No matter what, we want you and your family to stay safe throughout hurricane season.
As your prepaid electric provider, we are here for you through the sunshine and the storms. For the days in between, we’ve got your back with energy savings tips to help you save on your electric bill every day.