Houston's position along the Texas Gulf Coast makes it a prime target for severe weather to form. When these systems develop, they have the potential to cause large amounts of rain to fall in short periods of time, bring about damaging winds, hail, lightning and tornadoes. Streets, Bayous and Creeks can quickly fill up with water making for hazardous conditions.
Read these key steps below and find out how you can be prepared by getting an emergency supply kit, making an emergency plan and staying informed about severe weather.
Visit the Harris County Flood Education Mapping Tool (HarrisCountyFEMT.org) to find out which local watershed your home, office and other places you frequent are located, and whether or not they lie within a flood plain.
2) Turn Around, Don't Drown®
High water can be dangerous. When it only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock down a person, and only 2 feet to float an SUV, it's never smart to take chances driving through it. Even slow-moving water can be dangerous, and leave you needing help from first responders when your vehicle gets stuck. Driving into high water isn't worth it - find another way.
3) Have a plan for severe weather
If severe weather strikes during the day, how will you get home? Are you prepared to stay at work or school until the water recedes and conditions improve? Does your family know where to go during a severe weather outbreak? Take time to talk with your family, colleagues, and friends about what your plans are for times when severe weather occurs. Visit FEMA's Ready.gov to download a Family Emergency Plan.
Also, do you know how to shelter in the event that a Tornado Warning is issued for your area? Read more at Ready.gov.
How will you get information about severe weather? If you're relying on TV, Radio and internet, what happens when the electricity goes out? Have a plan to stay informed:
- Think about purchasing a NOAA Weather Alert Radio, which is available from most electronics retailers, and the Red Cross Store (Redcrossstore.org).
- Visit the Harris County Flood Warning System (harriscountyfws.org) webpage for up-to-date information on creek levels and rain totals from across Harris County.
- Be sure to bookmark m.houstonoem.net on your web-enabled mobile device to get the latest information on severe weather from the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management.