While hurricanes traditionally are not a direct threat for Austinites, storms that spinoff as the hurricanes move inland can produce significant flooding, hail, strong winds, and tornadoes that result in severe damage says the city.
The city's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wants residents to follow the tenets of emergency preparedness ahead of severe weather from hurricanes – make a plan, build a kit, and stay informed.
Make a Plan
Make an emergency plan for your household and practice it once a year. It is vital to be emergency prepared by knowing and sticking to a plan - emergency kits and warnings don't help without a plan for when and how to take action. Residents should:
- Know if they are in a flood-prone area – flash flooding is the biggest threat for Austin when a hurricane reaches the Gulf Coast.
- Learn evacuation routes – know where to go and how to get there as familiar roads may be blocked or flooded.
- Keep essential documents gathered and prepared if immediate evacuation is needed.
Build a Kit
Residents should build an emergency kit with proper supplies before the disaster happens. When creating an emergency kit, it is important to prepare up to potentially seven days and include items such as:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (non-perishable food), and manual can opener
- Basic first-aid kit and 7-day supply of medications/medical items
- Pet supplies (leash, collar, food, water, and documents)
- Important documents in a watertight bag, and family/emergency contacts
- Cell phone, chargers, flashlight, and extra batteries
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Sanitation/personal hygiene items and blankets
- Wrench or pliers (to help with the turning of utilities or other items)
While having a plan and an emergency kit are essential steps, staying weather aware is critical to emergency preparedness. Residents should ensure they can receive alerts to know if they need to take immediate action.
Warn Central Texas, a 10-county regional notification system established by the Capital Area Council of Governments, is a free system that provides warnings and other critical information through text, phone, and email to residents for their neighborhood.
The city says that preparation is at the forefront this season after the 2020 hurricane season produced a record number of hurricanes and a devastating Category 4 that significantly damaged many homes and properties along the Gulf Coast.
For more information on how to get emergency prepared, click here