Storm Safety

Hurricane Season

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, we really only worried about one thing: hurricane season (June through November).  Our local TV station provided storm tracker maps and text book covers for school kids with all the do’s and don'ts for storm readiness.  We almost never saw snow and infrequently experienced tornadoes and twisters.


Much of the Houston area is built on a flood plain below sea level, and as the city has grown, the flooding has worsened so much that homes that had not experienced flooding in the past have been completely ruined. Flooding from thunderstorms happens regularly, and the heat index just keeps rising. 

Storm Winds and Power Outages

Last week, a tornado with winds of about 100 mph took out power lines across our area that are still under repair in some neighborhoods. Tornadoes and wind events are more frequent, and so are the resulting power outages and other damage.

A couple of years ago, we had an eleven-day freeze that crippled our power and water supply and left families without power for days. The results were tragic for some families in the Houston area. The question is not if a weather or other emergency is going to happen, but when it will happen next. The best we can all do is prepare our homes and families including having plans should you need to evacuate ahead of an event.

The websites list below and the checklist is a starting point for planning. Be sure to research local resources of information and help. If you can, volunteer with or contribute to the Americal Red Cross and other disaster-relief organizations. For information on the organizations who make the most of their contributions, check Charity Navigator

Learn the safest places to be in a tornado, hurricane, or other disaster and how to prepare from these sources:

Staying Safe in a Tornado - CDC

Staying Safe in a Hurricane - National Weather Service

Staying Safe in a Storm - CDC

Staying Safe in other Disasters - (this site has many valuable resources)

Keeping Food Safe During and after a Power Outage - USDA

Additional Resources:

Emergency Preparedness and and Evacuation Checklist

Non-perishables and Water

A sampling of the provisions available at our house now such as they are. We are eating vegan now (Susan and family), so the two lone packs of tuna are saved for Laurie. I have to up my non-perishables by thinking of them as making meals for my family.

 I did figure out how to make a room temperature salad with cannelini beans, olives, jarred hearts of palm, jarred roasted red bell papers, olive oil, and balsamic or lemon juice and dried herbs - all ingredients on hand today.

Prepping for the next Storms and Power Outages

We bought a 4-day supply of water for our family, and now we are working on the other checklist items including our non-perishables and items like the 6-way phone charger and dry ice for the freezer. We now have the 6-way phone/ipad charger ready to go.

Prepare for fight and/or flight:  Your first decision will be whether to ride out the weather event or evacuate.  Both scenarios will go smoother if you prepare ahead of time. Your kit for either situation should include the following: