Safety and Preparedness Tips

SMTXU Safety and Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

The Atlantic hurricane season in Texas lasts from June through November each year, with the peak season from spanning from mid-August to late October. Prepared for hurricane season before it begins by determining your personal hurricane risk, identifying if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and reviewing current insurance policies. You can also sign up for local alerts and warnings

Hurricane Categories

Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning:

  • A hurricane watch is when hurricane force winds are possible within the specified area and is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area.
  • A hurricane warning is when they are expected somewhere within the specified area and is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds to allow for important preparation.

Make a Plan

Make a plan today to prepare for whatever comes your way. Here's what you need to include in your written plan:

  • Create a contact list and set up a family meeting place that's familiar and easy to find
  • Keep critical documents together for quick access
  • Have at least one contact outside of the impact area
  • Share your plan with your family and outside contact
  • Practice the plan with your family and friends to help avoid mistakes during an emergency

Prepare for the Hurricane and Develop an Evacuation Plan

Preparing for a hurricane is more than making sure your trees are trimmed or outdoor furniture is securely tied down. It's best to stay prepared even when it's not hurricane season because there could be a different emergency that has the potential to catch you off guard.

During the Hurricane

  • Stay indoors during hurricanes and away from windows and glass
  • Never operate a portable generator inside your home
  • Never connect a generator directly into your homes wiring unless a transfer switch has been installed
  • Always use GFCIs in areas where water and electricity may come in contact

Recovering from the Hurricane

  • Do not use electrical equipment and electronics, including receptacles, that have been submerged in water
  • Have a qualified electrician inspect any water damaged electrical equipment and electronics
  • Stay away from downed power lines. If you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 35 feet away and do not touch the line or anything that may be in contact with the line

Power Outage Tips

Power outages or service interruptions can occur for a variety of reasons including weather events like lightning strikes to equipment or wind blowing trees and limbs into power lines, vehicle accidents involving power poles, lines, and equipment, unexpected equipment failure, and animal contacts to lines. Use the following tips during a power outage:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed
  • Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges
  • If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about what you may be able to do to keep it running during a power outage. You can also ask your power provider to put you on a list for priority power restoration
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.  If you are on dialysis or other life-sustaining medical treatment know the location and availability of more than one facility that can help you
  • Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture
  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise
How to Stay Safe When a Power Outage Threatens