Best Resources For Emergency Preparedness In Houston

February 1, 2013 7:00 AM

(credit: Thinsktock)

(credit: Thinsktock)

(credit: Thinsktock)

Texas is subject to a few natural disasters. The most common and most destructive are hurricanes, especially for those located near the coastline. Texas, and primarily the Houston and Galveston areas, are considered the fifth most vulnerable United States cities to hurricanes. Houston has experienced some very powerful storms during the last decade and has endured considerable damage and loss of lives. Although a hurricane and/or flooding are not preventable, there are ways to be better prepared when a disaster strikes.

American Red Cross/Greater Houston Area Chapter
2700 S.W. Freeway
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 526-8300

The American Red Cross is an excellent source of valuable information regarding disaster readiness and also assistance after any type of unfortunate disaster or emergency. The Red Cross has a Houston chapter to assist locals. As for hurricanes, there is much to know. The most important thing to do during hurricane season is to stay informed. Keep a close eye on the newscast for important hurricane information. Residents should also know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch means that conditions are a threat within 48 hours, telling residents to be on alert. A hurricane warning is notification that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours and residents must be prepared to leave the area if directed to do so by authorities. Residents should plan ahead for possible evacuation directives and have a location readily available if possible. Otherwise, accommodations at a shelter may be in the plan.

In order to prepare one’s home for this and any type of natural disaster, having the proper supplies on hand is necessary. A household should have enough food and water for every resident of the home. Water is estimated at one gallon per day, per person. Food should be non-perishable, since being without electricity is a certainty. Other supplies that are helpful during this type of emergency include flashlights, a well-stocked supply of batteries, a first aid kit, a supply of personal hygiene or sanitation items, blankets and emergency contact documents.

Texas Prepares
1100 W. 49th St.
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 776-7111

Online resources are readily available for anyone seeking disaster preparations. The Texas Department of State Health Services has created a website dedicated to preparing for any type of disaster. The site is called Texas Prepares and it provides links for family strategies, disaster checklists and special-needs considerations for those with disabilities, children, the elderly and even pets.

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Quaker Kare

For those interested in a pre-packaged emergency kit, a website called Quaker Kare offers a hurricane preparation kit for a fee. This kit contains several items that may possibly be needed during a hurricane. Some items include duct tape, a tarp, water-proof matches, an axe and a document storage bag, just to name a few. Although the price may seem expensive, consider how much this kit could help you out in an emergency.

Ready Houston

A local resource for preparing for hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters and emergencies is a website called Ready Houston. This site also provides complete coverage for making a plan, building the emergency kit and staying informed about the conditions associated with this type of weather. The website is funded and sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

2013 Hurricane Workshop
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 853-8000

Date: June 1, 2013 from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.

Last, but certainly not least, the Houston Public Library is a valuable source for any subject, including being prepared for any type of emergency, including hurricanes and flooding. On this site, a link is provided for many areas of readiness, but the most effective link is one to The National Weather Service 2013 Hurricane Workshop. This workshop is completely free and available to anyone in the Houston area that is concerned about being prepared for the worst possible weather. The next workshop is scheduled for June of 2013 in Houston, Texas.

Related: Staying Safe In The Summer Sun

Melissa Moreno is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. Her work can be found on

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