The track and characteristics of Laura are mimicking Hurricane Rita, which caused major damage and widespread power outages to the east of the Greater Houston region and into Louisiana. This was a close call for Houston. Despite the current track, the memory of Harvey–three years ago this week–is still vivid and should be a reminder to stay alert and prepared during hurricane season.
Steps for Preparedness:
Assemble Disaster Supplies
Hurricanes are unpredictable and can change course overnight. If you do not have time to evacuate it is important to have a disaster kit ready. A good rule of thumb is to have enough non-perishable food, water, and medicine to last each person in your family at least one week. Here again, it is vital to keep your vehicles full of gas, even if you can no longer evacuate. If the power goes out vehicles can be used to charge phones and other communication devices.
Strengthen Your Home
Make sure your home is in good repair and up to our hurricane building code specifications. Many retrofits can be done inexpensively. Have the proper plywood, steel, or aluminum panels to board up your windows and doors. Remember the garage door is the most vulnerable part of your home. Also check around the exterior of your home for items that could become projectiles during strong wind gusts. Patio furniture, trash cans, wobbly fence posts, and yard toys can break windows or damage the exterior of your home.
Identify Trusted Sources of Information
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center are your official sources for hurricane forecasts and the issuance of hurricane watches and warnings. Websites like www.readyharris.org are invaluable for the latest up–to-date information. Radio or your favorite local newscast should always have up-to-date information as well.
Keep Roads Clear for Those Who Need to Evacuate
If you don’t need to be on the roads, stay home and help keep evacuation routes clear for those who must evacuate.
Click here for more information on the destructive power of a hurricane.