|Prepare today by following a four-step preparedness process: make an emergency plan, have an emergency kit, stay informed, and help members of your community prepare themselves.
Make an Emergency Plan
The first step in preparing for disasters is to make a plan. Have a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency. Consider how you will communicate with each other, where you will meet, and who you can leave messages with out-of-state if you can’t reach people locally.
Houston residents who might need additional help in evacuating during a disaster can register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), which allows residents to provide information on their specific situation to emergency management officials who will work to help them evacuate safely, or provide them with the appropriate life-sustaining help they need in a disaster. Call 2-1-1 or visit www.TexasSTEAR.org for more information.
The City of Houston Disaster Preparedness Guide (DPG) is updated annually and provides information about emergency planning to Houston residents. The Guide is available in six languages for download:
Have an Emergency Supply Kit
After you have your plan, start building a kit. Houston residents should have what they need to be on their own for 5-7 days following a storm. This includes food, water, medications, and individual needs such as medical devices or pet supplies.
Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies this year. Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap if not available, and two cloth face coverings for each person.
If you stay informed, you will know when disasters are going to strike. Know where to go to get updated information, including local television and radio, as well as official websites such as:
The City of Houston offers emergency alerts through the AlertHouston emergency notification system. People who live or work in Houston can receive emergency notifications via email, text message and through a mobile app. Register for alerts today at www.alerthouston.org
Know your Neighbors
Your neighbors can be a great source of help immediately after a disaster. Get to know your neighbors, particularly those too elderly or too ill to independently plan or prepare themselves for a disaster. By knowing your neighbors ahead of time, your community will work better as a team when disasters strike.
When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
For more information about helping your neighborhood get ready for hurricane season, visit www.houstonoem.org/preparedness-are-you-ready