Preparing for Hurricanes in Houston
Preparing for hurricane in Houston
Q: What should I do with the food in my freezer if my power goes out?
A: Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food cool for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) and the door remains closed. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.
Q: Should I put tape on my windows?
A: Tape will not prevent windows from breaking. Plywood is better protection.
Q: Should I take my bird feeders or satellite dish down?
A: Anything outside that can become a projectile in high winds should be removed or secured. Put your yard furniture and anything else that could turn into a missile into your garage or storage. Tie things down if needed.
Q: If I evacuate, what should I take with me?
A: Medicines, prescriptions
and toiletries; clothing for at least three days; blankets and toys for
children; flashlight and battery-powered radio; computer hard drive or laptop;
photographs; cash; and important financial
Q: What papers or records should I take with me?
A: In the event your house is damaged or destroyed, having the following could help expedite claims for insurance and assistance: insurance policies, a home inventory, drivers license or personal identification. It also is important to safeguard important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates; passports; Social Security cards, recent tax returns, employment information, wills, deeds, stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates, bank, savings and retirement account numbers.
Q: Should I take pictures of my belongings for insurance?
A: Pictures will help document your insurance claims. Also take pictures of any damage before making temporary repairs.
Q: Should I really fill my bathtub with water? Why?
A: In the event that water service is disrupted, you can drink the water (preferably after boiling or chemical treatment) and or use it to wash dishes in a bucket. You also can use it to flush the toilet by pouring it into the tank. Before filling it with water, clean the bathtub with bleach and dishwashing soap thoroughly and rinse well.
Q: Where's the
safest place to be inside
my house during the storm?
A: Find an interior room nearest the center of the home with no windows.
Q: What should I unplug?
A: When lightning starts, don't just turn off your electronics — unplug them. A surge protector won't do much against a direct lightning strike. In addition to unplugging from electrical outlets, also unplug any phone and cable connections, and consider disconnecting cables between computers on a home network.
Q: Will my cordless phone work when the power is out?
A: No. Cell phones and cordless phones are unreliable in emergencies. Land lines are more robust.
Make sure trees are trimmed so they do not break and hit your glass windows when high winds arrive.
Remove anything in backyard and front yard that could become a missile and hit your window and break it.
How Much Water do I Need?
You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
- Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
- Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
- Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
- A medical emergency might require additional water.
To prepare safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it.
Observe the expiration or “use by” date.
It is recommended you purchase food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage. Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Follow directions below on filling the container with water.
If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.
If storing water in plastic soda bottles, follow these
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water.Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place. Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content.
*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
Note: Be sure to include a manual can opener.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
- Staples--sugar, salt, pepper
- High energy foods--peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
- Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons with special dietary needs
- Comfort/stress foods--cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags
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