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An extensive and comprehensive web site providing personal Hurricane Preparedness information.  This site includes checklists and other useful information as you and your family prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm.

The material contained in these pages are the author's opinions, and do not reflect that of any other person or entity.  You are advised to seek expert opinion if you have questions or concerns about your specific emergency preparedness situation.

About This Website
This website is a non-commercial endeavor to help folks prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes; especially along the Gulf of Mexico coast.  You can send questions or comments to the author at HurricaneHaskell@gmail.comI will endeavor to answer within 24 hours, and can usually answer them on the same day.  Since this is a non-commercial endeavor, you will not receive unwanted emails, and your contact info will never be sold to a third party.  


Hurricane Preparedness Home Page

If you live along one of the areas prone to hurricanes, then hopefully you've taken some time to make preparations in case a storm heads in your direction.  Whether you're a seasoned coastal veteran, or just getting started for the first time, the material on this web site should help you with your hurricane (and general emergency) preparedness.

One of the most dangerous things that person can do is procrastinate their hurricane preparations.  If you don't believe you can get killed trying to obtain gasoline, withdraw cash from an ATM, or buy the last loaf of bread in a store right before a storm, then you should have witnessed the madness in Harris County before Hurricane Rita.  Though most of the residents were orderly, law abiding citizens, there were numerous reports of hot tempers and desperate actions all across the area.  By having your supplies ahead of time and keeping your vehicle's gas tank at least half full, you can greatly reduce your stress and chance of running into danger before the storm even arrives.

Early predictions for 2013 are for this to be an above average year.  However, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad year for you.  So you might want to follow the first rule of emergency preparedness: Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!


2013 Hurricane Season Predictions

  Colorado State University
(April 10)
NOAA's
May
Outlook
(May 31)
Impact Weather Tropical Storm
Risk 
(May)
1950-2000 Mean (Normal)
Named Storms 18 13-20 18 15.3 9.6
Hurricanes 9 7-11 8 7.5 5.9
Intense Hurricanes (Cat 3-4-5) 4 3-6 4 3.4 2.3

2013 Hurricane Season Predictions
(Updated June 1, 2013)

 

The peak of hurricane season (for the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the 
Gulf of Mexico) is from mid-August to late October

 

Potential Damage Multiplier
The following chart is useful for illustrating that the correlation between wind speed and estimated damage is not linear, but exponential.  In other words, a Category 2 hurricane will not cause roughly twice as much damage as a Category 1, but ten times as much damage!  Of course, there are many variables in this equation that will affect the results, and this is only to provide a rough rule of thumb.  

Saffir-Simpon Hurricane Wind Scale

Wind Speed Range (MPH) Potential Damage Multiplier
Category 1 74 - 95 1
Category 2 96 - 110 10
Category 3 111 - 129 50
Category 4 130 - 156 250
Category 5 > 157 500

Saffir-Simpson Scale
For each category of increased wind speed, expect an exponential increase in damage.


Things You Should Do NOW!

There are several things that you should do now in preparation for not only a hurricane, but to be ready for nearly any emergency situation that may arise.

First, start with a checklist.  I've included several checklist throughout this web site to help get you going.  You can use these lists as the starting point for your own, then add and subtract as appropriate.  With these lists, you can more objectively evaluate your needs, estimate the cost and prioritize your purchases.  

The next step is to take your prioritized checklist and acquire any emergency medical and health-related items.  This is especially important for those who may take medications required to sustain their health.  A month's supply of critical medications is the minimum recommended quantity for most situations.  Seek your health care provider's opinion if you have any questions.

From here, you can essentially start working your way down the list of priorities.  Food and water should obviously be at the top of the list.  Once you've got the primary life sustaining items covered, then you should work on the safety and logistical items.  This includes gathering and storing all of you important papers and cash where you can access it quickly when the time comes.  These should be kept in a safe, waterproof container.

Keep in mind that in any emergency situation, cash is king!  ATM machines will empty days before the storm, and even some small banks may run low.  Try to have some cash on hand before the storm arrives.  Also, have a portion of your cash in small denominations since armored cars won't be running and stores may run out of small bills.  If phone lines are down, credit card process may grind to a halt and cash may be the only way to purchase essential items.  Also, for emergency repairs after the storm, many contractors will prefer cash.

Also of great importance are the items you'll need to get by for a few days without utilities, especially electricity.  This includes battery powered or self-charging (crank style) flashlights, a good AM-FM radio, a weather radio, and perhaps a battery powered portable television.

If you are elderly or have special needs, and will need help evacuating, you should dial 211 in the City of Houston for the Texas/United Way help line.


My Extensive Hurricane Preparedness Checklists

I think you will find this comprehensive spreadsheet useful for almost every aspect of your hurricane preparedness.  It  not only covers food and supplies, but also has several checklist that covers everything from home preparations to evacuation supplies.   Remember, you will need to customize this list for your particular needs. 

Click here for the Hurricane Checklist - Excel Format

Click here for the Hurricane Checklist - PDF Format


KHOU Channel 11
Special, Storm Warnings: "Know When To Go"

In 2011, I had the honor of working with KHOU's own David Paul on their hurricane preparedness special titled "Storm Warnings: Know When To Go".  My segment is at about the 11:25 point into the show.

View The Program Here


Useful Links

Weather

KHOU Hurricane Central

National Weather Service - Houston

National Hurricane Center

Harris County Office of Emergency Management

Harris County Office of Emergency Management - Evacuation Information

Galveston County Office of Emergency Management

Weather Radio SAME Codes

Mike's Weather Page - Tons of Useful Links


 Miscellaneous

Houston Transtar Traffic Map

CenterPoint Outage Tracker

CenterPoint Outage StormCenter


About the Author


My name is Haskell Moore, and I'm just an average guy with a desire to help friends (including those I've not yet met), neighbors and co-workers prepare for hurricanes and the devastation they can bring.
  My goal is to keep the information on this site as fresh and current as possible, and to help spread the word about how to get ready and stay prepared in case a hurricane heads your way.

My sincere hope for you is that you take a few minutes and read over this material (and the related links), create a prioritized checklist, then get started on your own hurricane preparedness!

 amateur ham radio, Haskell Moore, W5HLM.

 

Owner: Haskell L. Moore
All articles are property of the owner, and may not be reproduced in whole or part without
written permission from the author. Copyright © 2008 - 2013.
Email me at: HurricaneHaskell@gmail.com