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Hurricane in Texas

Hurricane Introduction

Hurricanes are violent circular storms that form over warm tropical waters. They are among the most destructive natural catastrophes. In the United States, the "Hurricane Season" begins on June 1 and lasts until November 30, with August and September being the months when most storms make landfall. When a storm comes ashore after traveling over the sea, it is said to have made landfall.

During hurricane season, Texas is one of just a few states that typically suffer the most damage from tropical storms. For instance, 64 of the 303 storms that have made landfall in the United States since 1851 have hit Texas. Hurricanes are known for their destructive nature since they bring high winds, and heavy rainfall. This force smashes onshore, inflicting enormous destruction and, in some cases, fatalities.

Hurricanes leave marks on the landscape by uprooting trees, causing floods, and destroying homes. The storms kill people and cause millions of dollars in property damage. For example, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas between August 25 and August 29, 2017. Harvey was responsible for 103 deaths, including 68 deaths directly caused by the storm and 35 deaths indirectly influenced by the storm. The hurricane caused about $51.177 billion in damage in Texas alone.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the world's most significant authority on hurricane research, makes it a priority to understand these complex storms to protect people, property, economic activities, and natural resources. NOAA's National Hurricane Center forecasts and monitors these very severe storm systems. Furthermore, the Texas Hurricane Center assists in hurricane preparedness and storm mitigation. The center serves as an instructional venue for disaster preparation, emergency planning, and response, as well as developing innovative approaches that allow industries, businesses, and communities to recover swiftly after a hurricane has happened.

Hurricane Science

Hurricanes typically begin in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. They are also called Tropical Cyclones. All tropical cyclones, from depressions to hurricanes, begin similarly. Their development is similar to a chain reaction, and once started, the process can only be stopped when one of the chains breaks, and the cyclone can no longer sustain itself. The four stages of hurricane development include:

  • Tropical Disturbance
    A tropical disturbance is the first stage in the creation of a hurricane. The water vapor condenses over warm ocean waters and forms rain clouds. A dense mass of storm clouds characterizes the disturbance, but there is only moderate wind circulation, and the risk of damage is small.

    A tropical disturbance becomes a depression when its maximum surface winds exceed 23 miles per hour.

  • Tropical depression
    The second stage in the evolution of a hurricane is a tropical depression. Tropical depressions are cyclones with maximum sustained wind speeds ranging from 23 to 39 miles per hour. Although they are not as powerful as tropical storms and hurricanes, they can still produce significant amounts of precipitation (rainfall), intense thunderstorms, and disastrous floods.

  • Tropical Storm
    A tropical storm is the third stage of the development of a hurricane. Tropical storm surface winds can reach maximum sustained speeds of 39 to 73 mph. Texans in areas where a tropical storm is forecast must implement their hurricane preparation plans as soon as possible since tropical storms may easily and quickly turn into hurricanes.

  • Hurricane
    The actual hurricane is the fourth stage of a storm's development, and it is at this stage that the storm becomes the most deadly and powerful. At this stage, the maximum sustained surface winds are 74 miles per hour or higher.

    Warm ocean waters supply the energy required for a storm to develop into a hurricane. When warm, moist water rises, they form tropical thunderstorms. When these storms' winds begin to circle and surpass 74 miles per hour, the storm is categorized as a hurricane or tropical cyclone. As the heated air rises, it drives the surrounding air to travel in and up the cyclone. As it rises, it cools and produces additional clouds. This mechanism keeps the hurricane going until it hits land.

    But when a tropical cyclone hits land, it can no longer suck in warm air and loses energy while moving far inland, slows down, and finally stops.

Parts of a hurricane:

  • The eye is the calmest region of the storm, located in the central hole.
  • The storm's eyewall defines how huge the eye of the storm is. It is characterized by the strongest and most fierce winds responsible for the cylinder-like form.
  • Rainbands are a ring of clouds that form around the eyewall and they are made up of continually revolving and growing clouds. These can span dozens of kilometers.
  • The towers enclosed inside this rainband are the primary engines that power the tropical cyclone. They are in charge of lifting the air and giving the energy required for the tropical storm to continue developing and moving.

Hurricanes are graded on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale based on their highest sustained wind speeds. Herb Saffir, a structural engineer, and Bob Simpson, a meteorologist, are credited with developing the scale.

Hence, hurricanes are classified into five types based on the wind speeds they produce:

  • Category 1: Wind speed ranges from 74 to 95 miles per hour.
  • Category 2: Wind speed range from 96 to 110 miles per hour.
  • Category 3: Wind speeds range from 111 to 129 miles per hour.
  • Category 4: Wind speeds range from 130 to 156 miles per hour.
  • Category 5: Wind Speeds are at least 157 miles per hour.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a hurricane must be Category 3 or above to be categorized as a "major" hurricane. Identifying a storm's strength is important because it allows meteorologists to offer those in its path an estimate of the damages that may be sustained.

Hurricane Disaster Impacts

Although hurricanes are known to form in the ocean's warm waters, they occasionally hit land, posing an even more significant threat. When a storm makes landfall, coastal towns and cities can experience major damage because a hurricane often brings heavy rainfall, strong winds, and a wall of ocean water (storm surge).

  • Torrential rainstorm
    Hurricanes are associated with unusually heavy rainfall because hot air can contain more moisture than cool air. When a tropical cyclone occurs, the air is quite warm and may hold a substantial quantity of moisture. The temperature of the fluid reduces as it climbs, causing it to condense into a flood of rain. These rains may fall along the coast and many kilometers inland, causing flooding that can linger for days or even weeks after the storm has passed.

  • Wind
    When a hurricane makes landfall, the shear force of the winds can cause buildings to collapse, trees to topple, power lines to fall, and cars to be blown off roadways. Also, when flying debris, such as signs, roofing materials, and small items left outside, are added to the mix, the potential for structural damage increases. Additionally, winds powerful enough to support a hurricane also threaten human lives. Many people have been killed or badly injured due to trees falling or debris flying through the air.

  • The storm surge
    A storm surge is a dome of ocean water that can be 50 to 100 miles wide and as high as 20 feet high. Even though the winds and rain may cause significant damage, the storm surge and the many risks it poses are widely regarded as the most deadly feature of a hurricane. Storm surge has historically been responsible for almost half of all direct deaths caused by storms that make landfall in the United States. The water is propelled toward the shore by the winds produced by the storm. As it reaches the coast, it has the potential to devastate the communities that are located there.

    The rising water can drown low-lying villages and towns along the coast entirely. Storm surges, combined with the storm's crashing waves, can demolish buildings and streets and ruin coastlines. Also, storm surge causes flash floods that only last a few hours but are capable of causing severe property damage.

  • Flooding
    Floodwaters become the most significant threat when a hurricane goes inland after landfall near the coast. Hurricanes may produce flooding due to severe rainfall and storm surges. The winds can also force ocean water up river mouths, worsening floods in interior locations, causing landslides and potential mudslides.

  • Damage to coasts
    Hurricanes influence natural areas along the coast. When the storms make landfall, they have the potential to create a dangerous environment filled with dangers such as fast-moving air, water, and debris.

    The ocean's powerful current can carry large and potentially destructive debris. Strong gusts of wind can also fall trees, and low-lying areas are regularly flooded. Hurricanes can cause significant erosion and breach islands.

  • Economic impacts
    The state will likely suffer both direct and indirect economic consequences when a hurricane hits. Affected buildings, automobiles, and infrastructure like roads, water systems, and electricity lines represent direct damage. Indirect damages are those that were not caused directly by the disaster. They could include damages like workers' incapacity to report to work, power outages, broken machinery, and safety concerns. These factors negatively influence the economy because they result in reduced business profits, lower employee compensation, and, in some cases, job loss.

    For example, Hurricane Harvey inflicted enormous devastation, even in financial costs. Affected communities in Texas had to cope with emergency response costs, evacuee shelters, debris clearance, and infrastructure repair during and immediately after the storm. Many public buildings and vehicles were destroyed and had to be restored or replaced. The storm also caused significant interruptions in many businesses. In addition to repairing the damage to their property, numerous businesses had to replace a portion or all of their inventory and equipment.

    Meanwhile, thousands of evacuees sleeping in hotels or rental units had to pay for their temporary accommodations. When these people returned to their flood-damaged houses, they began rebuilding and replacing furniture, household items, gadgets, clothing, and automobiles. Harvey caused widespread economic devastation.

Hurricanes Have Some Benefits

Despite their widespread destruction, tropical cyclones have somewhat benefited the state. The severity of drought conditions across Texas has been significantly reduced, primarily due to the rains. If tropical storms and hurricanes did not sometimes pass through Texas, the amount of rain that falls during the summer months throughout eastern Texas would be lower. Some crops such as cotton, corn, and rice greatly depend on the additional rainfall contribution, hence if it does not happen, it might affect the crops farmed across the state.

Also, despite the damage they cause, the effect on the state's economy may be much less severe if it is weighed against the anticipated increase in business activity due to the reconstruction and restoration efforts, along with an influx of funding from federal aid and insurance payments.

Overall, it is essential to note that each storm is unique, and each tropical system has the potential to deliver a distinct set of hazards. As a result, it is essential to be aware of one's risk, mainly if one is located in an area at risk of flooding or in an evacuation zone for storm surges. This is crucial since future hurricanes may bring different dangers with them.

Texas Hurricane Threat Profile

Summer in Texas means the beginning of hurricane season, especially for Texans living near the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes have devastated Texas several times throughout the years. It is the state in the United States with the second-highest hurricanes, after Florida.

Because Texas's coastline stretches for more than 300 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, residents in coastal regions should ensure they are fully prepared for hurricane season. Because the Gulf of Mexico is not as deep as the Atlantic Ocean, the water temperature rises, contributing to hurricanes. Hurricanes and other strong tropical storms often make landfall in Texas between August and September. Tropical Storm Nicolas, for example, made landfall in Texas cities along the Gulf Coast in September 2021. The storm caused almost 9 inches of rain, and it took several days to restore electricity to thousands of homes and businesses in the affected areas.

Vulnerable Areas in Texas

Storm surges may affect any site along the coast less than 25 feet above sea level, and hurricane winds can be felt hundreds of miles inland. Hurricanes may strike anywhere along the Texas coast, including inhabited places such as Port Arthur and as far south as the border city of Brownsville.

On the other hand, Galveston and Houston have suffered the most devastating hurricane damage of any Texas city during the last century. In fact, the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is still recognized as the most devastating natural disaster in American history. According to NOAA, the number of deaths was between 6,000 and 12,000. The damage caused by Storm Harvey in 2017, the most recent hurricane to make landfall in Galveston, is one of the most expensive natural disasters in US history. The hurricane inflicted billions of dollars in damage to Galveston and the surrounding areas.

Climate Change May Influence Hurricanes

According to NOAA, hurricanes may become stronger and more frequent in the upcoming years, which means a more significant number of storms. Although a single storm cannot prove it, climate change likely contributes to more active hurricane seasons. Ocean temperatures are rising due to climate change, making storms more intense. Furthermore, it elevates sea levels, causing storm surges to be even more catastrophic.

There is also evidence that climate change contributes to an increase in the global average temperature of the seas, including the Gulf of Mexico. It is general knowledge that more precipitation falls as the atmosphere is warmer. These two elements are expected to worsen the intensity of tropical storms and the amount of rainfall they generate.

Additionally, when tropical storms make landfall, they invariably bring destructive floods. Rainwater does not readily drain away due to considerable urban growth, resulting in semi-impermeable paved concrete surfaces. Instead, it may cause worse floods than before.

Texas Hurricane History

Hurricanes have a long history in Texas, with the first reported hurricane making landfall in the state in 1875. Except for Florida, hurricanes have had a more significant direct impact on Texas than any other state since 1900. Texas has been the state most directly affected by storms in the previous two decades, with Hurricane Harvey in 2017 causing the most deaths and costing the most money.

Although these storms made their way inland, causing destruction and flooding, the coastal population areas have always suffered the most severe damage. Some of the worst hurricanes in Texas's recorded history include:

  • Hurricane Carla (1961): The category 4 hurricane caused 125 fatalities and $1.9 billion in damages.
  • Hurricane Beulah (1967): The category 5 hurricane caused $1.6 billion in damage and 56 fatalities.
  • Hurricane Alicia (1983): The category 3 hurricane caused 18 fatalities and $1.3 billion in damages
  • Hurricane Rita (2005): The category 3 hurricane caused 11 fatalities and $20.6 billion in damages
  • Hurricane Ike (2008): The category 3 hurricane caused 23 fatalities and $32.3 billion in damages
  • Hurricane Harvey (2017): The category 4 hurricane caused 68 fatalities and $125 billion in damage,

Getting Ready for Hurricane in Texas

NOAA recommends that Americans prepare for hurricanes by reviewing and updating their insurance policies, developing an evacuation plan, assembling disaster supplies, reinforcing their homes, and staying informed. Texans in risk areas are strongly advised to prepare for hurricanes before hurricane season.

Hurricane Warnings and Alerts

Scientists collect information from satellites and other sources to enhance their knowledge of storms and provide information that may save lives. The data helps them understand the mechanisms contributing to storm genesis and intensification. Furthermore, the information aids forecasters in anticipating the path and strength of storms which is essential to reduce their impacts.

The National Hurricane Center has issued tropical storm alerts for many years. The first recorded forecast of a storm's course was in 1954, over 24 hours before it hit land. Since then, forecasts have been extended further to include details such as the storm's intensity, size, and associated dangers. Texans are urged to prioritize hurricane warnings and alerts to prepare for a storm. They can receive emergency alerts via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues warnings, watches, and advisories when weather conditions make the formation of hurricanes more likely. Texas residents may access up-to-date weather information by entering their zip code, city, or GPS coordinates.


  • Storm Surge Warning: This warning signifies a risk of life-threatening flooding due to increasing water moving inland from the coastline.
  • Hurricane Warning: This warning signifies that hurricane conditions, defined by sustained winds of 74 mph or higher, are expected to exist anywhere within the specified region.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: This warning implies that tropical storm conditions are expected to develop in the specified area during the next 36 hours.
  • Extreme Winds Warning: This warning signifies that extreme sustained winds, which are generally associated with the eyewall of a large storm, are expected to begin within the next hour. These winds will exceed 115 miles per hour. Texans in the specified area are advised to seek immediate refuge within a well-built structure.

Alerts and updates are also available through:

Preparation for Hurricane

The best way to reduce the impacts of a natural catastrophe is to prepare ahead. Early preparation and understanding hurricane risks are critical components for becoming resilient to dangerous storms. Texans are advised to prepare for hurricanes by doing these:

Creating a Family Disaster and Emergency Plan

A detailed family disaster plan should include information on each household member, pets, insurance, and financial concerns. It should also contain information on property protection and evacuation plans. The comprehensive plan must explain what each household member should do in the case of an emergency. The plan should include:

  • A list of every household member, including children, seniors, people with disabilities, and pets

  • Household discussion about hurricanes to ensure that everyone is informed on how to react and to reduce fear and anxiety

  • Information on community's hurricanes and flood risk

  • Practicing evacuation drills and learning hurricane warnings and notifications

  • A continuity plan to ensure that business operations are not stalled by catastrophe, if applicable

  • Information on the safest evacuation routes

  • Prepare an emergency supply kit for each household member

  • Find a local shelter or hotel for evacuation purposes

  • Communication plan to ensure all household members stay in touch throughout the catastrophe.

Gather Supplies

Gathering supplies in preparation for a hurricane is important to stay safe until the storm passes. Necessary supplies include:

  • Medical supplies to address any existing or unexpected medical conditions that family members may have

  • At least half full tank of fuel for evacuation purposes

  • Protective equipment and warm clothing to prevent hypothermia (A severe and potentially life-threatening drop in body temperature)

  • Light sources, including flashlights and a whistle which may be useful during an evacuation

  • At least three days' worth of nonperishable food and water in case of an emergency

  • A first-aid kit

  • Back up charging devices for electronic gadgets

  • Copies of important personal documents. These should be taken during an evacuation because individuals must provide documentation to apply for government assistance

  • Pet supplies such as several days' supply of food and water, a collar with an ID tag, a leash or harness, medication, and grooming items.

Secure Personal Property

Before a hurricane, Texans should gather and safeguard vital financial, medical, educational, and legal documents and records. Hence, to secure personal property, Texans must:

  • Gather, duplicate, and secure housing-related documents, such as mortgage and lease agreements, as well as insurance policies, tax statements, and utility bills

  • Gather emergency contacts

  • Duplicate and secure personal identification documents

  • Make copies and store them in a password-protected safe digital place or in a waterproof bag

  • Make a video or photo inventory to document all of the items inside as well as the current condition of the property

  • Maintain vehicles adequately, especially if they will be required for evacuation.

  • Move boats far from tidal waters.

Protect Buildings or Other Structures

Storms are primarily responsible for the havoc they cause due to high winds, falling items, and floods. As a result, Texans who live in high-risk areas should take precautions to defend their houses and other property against harmful impacts. The most efficient way to reduce the likelihood of a structure being damaged by hurricane winds is to reinforce or fortify it, including its doors, windows, walls, and roofing. Some improvements are simple and inexpensive, while others may necessitate a bigger financial investment. Some recommended adjustments include:

  • Bring loose or lightweight items (such as patio furniture, garbage cans, and bicycles) inside the house.

  • Cut or remove any trees that are dangerously near the buildings.

  • Ensure that the gutters and drains are free of debris. Providing adequate drainage would help reduce floods.

  • Drain any above-ground pool.

  • Gather emergency reinforcements such as sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting.

  • Elevate heater and electrical panel if the structure is at risk of flooding.

  • Waterproof the basement.

  • Make a safe room or storm shelter within the property. A safe room is a facility designed to meet the federal government's criteria for a severe weather event, such as a hurricane or a tornado.

  • Install storm or hurricane shutters to protect windows and doors.

  • Elevate coastal properties to a certain height, making them more resistant to floods caused by hurricanes.

  • Ensure the building is assessed by a competent engineer who can provide further insight on how to protect the property from hurricanes.

  • Obtain adequate insurance policies.

Insurance Considerations for Hurricane Season in Texas

  • Windstorm Insurance
    Windstorm insurance protects a person's home from damage caused by wind or hail. Homeowner's insurance often covers wind damage produced by hurricanes. However, individuals that live in a Texas location with a high chance of wind and hail damage (coastal regions) may find that their homeowner's insurance policy does not cover such damage. In this case, they would require a separate windstorm insurance policy. This is obtainable through Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).

  • Flood Insurance
    Flood insurance protects a property owner from financial ruin in the event of flood damage. Only one inch of water may cause up to $25,000 in damage to a home. Property owners, especially those in high-risk flood zones, are advised to obtain flood insurance because homeowner's insurance coverage never covers flood damage, and it must be obtained separately. This can be accomplished by collaborating with a private insurer or the National Flood Insurance Scheme (NFIP), a FEMA-supported scheme.

Hurricane Evacuation

If a hurricane is predicted to make landfall or is already making landfall, people must evacuate the region as soon as possible. Evacuation can be voluntary or mandatory. During a voluntary evacuation, residents can travel from a risky location to a safe one by themselves or with the assistance of local authorities. In this case, there are no consequences for staying behind, but it is strongly advised.

In contrast, a mandatory evacuation order is issued when danger is imminent and the conditions significantly endanger people's lives in a specific location. This command instructs that everyone vacate the area immediately. Local or state emergency officials issue mandatory orders.

Because of the damage that storms may cause, Texans should not defy evacuation orders. However, certain people are more vulnerable than others. People in these situations should carefully consider leaving before the general public is advised to evacuate ahead of a storm:

  • Those who live in low-lying or flood-prone locations and on barrier islands

  • Those who reside in mobile homes near the seaside or are concerned about the structural stability of their home

  • Those driving recreational or other high-profile vehicles, as well as those transporting boats or trailers

  • Those with children, elderly relatives, or passengers with special needs.

Texas residents should be prepared to migrate anytime to guarantee a safe evacuation. As a result, those who are obliged to leave dangerous areas must:

  • Evacuate promptly if told to do so

  • Travel as far inland and away from the coast as possible

  • Listen to local radio or television broadcasts and follow any instructions provided by local emergency authorities

  • Secure and lock the home

  • Disconnect all utilities, devices, and household appliances

  • Take only what is required, giving special attention to the emergency kits

  • Follow the local authorities' recommendations for Designated Evacuation Routes

  • Prepare for a significant evacuee traffic

  • Put on safety gear and sturdy footwear

  • Bring pre-assembled protective clothing and warm supplies.

  • Make arrangements for pets as many public shelters only accept assistance animals.

  • Plan a meeting point with other household members.

Staying Safe During Hurricane

Evacuating potentially dangerous areas during a storm is one of the most crucial things a person can do for protection in a hurricane. As a result, Texans must perform these actions to ensure their safety during a hurricane:

  • Stay away from areas that the hurricane's winds or flooding may impact

  • Monitor local orders and alerts

  • If strong winds are forecast, individuals must seek refuge in a prefabricated storm shelter or an indoor area and remain there

  • Keep away from windows and doors

  • In the case of a flood, individuals may check the condition of Texas highways by visiting Drive Texas

  • Do not attempt to drive a car, walk, or swim across floods.

Hurricane Shelters

In some cases, the best course of action might require sheltering in place rather than attempting to evacuate the region. It is vital to gather as much information as possible before deciding.

Those who do not evacuate their houses are advised to stay inside in a storm room. Suppose an individual does not have access to a storm room. In that case, the safest place to seek refuge during a hurricane is a small interior room with no windows, preferably located on the lowest level of a solid structure that will be least harmed by the storm's fierce winds and surging floods.

Those who decide to seek refuge in their houses during hurricanes must:

  • Lock and stay away from all the doors, windows, and air vents

  • Turn off the fans, air conditioning, and heating systems that use forced air

  • Bring emergency kit into the shelter room

  • Stay informed

  • Build as many walls as possible between them and the outside winds

  • Lay on the ground, face down, beneath a sturdy item to be better protected from falling objects

  • Remain indoors until the authorities declare it safe to do otherwise.

Furthermore, there are shelters around Texas where people living in high-risk areas can seek refuge until the storm passes. It is important to make a good shelter choice before a storm hits. Texans who cannot shelter in place in their homes can visit public shelters or find a hotel or motel that will fit their needs in a low-risk zone. It is essential to make reservations as soon as possible to guarantee a place to stay during the storm

A public shelter is a small structure that provides temporary protection for those forced to flee their houses. Individuals are advised to bring sleeping mats or air mattresses to sleep on.

After the Hurricane

There is always a possibility of hurricane-related dangers even after the storm has passed. There is a considerable danger of major accidents due to risks such as rising water, fallen electrical power lines, and burst gas mains. Texans must practice these precautions to stay safe:

Stay Informed

  • Stay tuned to local radio and television stations and NOAA Weather Radio for further information and guidance.

  • Families that were forced to evacuate may return to their homes when the local officials notify them that it is safe.

  • Obey local officials' instructions.

  • Avoid disaster zones.


The substantial risk of significant accidents, deaths, and damages when cleaning up after a storm may be avoided by following the necessary precautions to safeguard one's health and safety when performing cleanup and utility restoration activities. Such precautions include:

  • Opening doors and windows to allow fresh air and hasten the drying process.

  • Pumping out flooded basements gradually to avoid severe structural damage that may cause the basement walls to collapse.

  • Repairing damaged sewer systems immediately. Sewerage system failures endanger public health.

  • Avoiding shattered glass or exposed nails while clearing debris.

  • Carrying heavy items in groups.

  • Wearing appropriate safety equipment, face coverings, and strong boots when cleaning up mold or other debris.

  • Exempting children from cleanup operations.

  • Learning to handle chainsaws and other power tools properly.
    The CDC recommends that it is best to initiate cleanup efforts within 24-48 hours after a storm or flood ends and the authorities deem it safe to return.

Beware of electrical and fire hazards

A hurricane increases the risk of house accidents such as a house fire due to utilities and other electrical components disturbed during the disaster.

  • Turn off the power at the main breaker, and wait for an electrician to examine the equipment before use.

  • Flashlights should be used instead of candles.

  • If residents must use candles, they must keep them away from anything that might fuel a fire. They must also stay close to the candles when they are lit.

  • Have a fire extinguisher and instruct all household members on how to use it appropriately.

  • Avoid touching any structure, car, or anything in contact with a downed power line.

  • Notify authorities if there is a power outage or a downed power line.

  • Avoid touching electrical equipment when wet or standing in water.

  • Avoid standing in water altogether because of the risk of electrical shock from fallen or buried power lines.

  • Check for potential fire hazards, including gas leaks, flooded electrical circuits, or submerged electrical appliances or furnaces.

Avoid floodwater

Floodwater poses many risks to evacuees, rescue personnel, and anybody returning to their homes following a hurricane. For protection, Texans must:

  • Pay attention to and follow any warnings about flooded roads.

  • Avoid walking, cycling, or driving through any flooded areas. People and vehicles risk being swept away or getting disabled in rushing water.

  • Wear a life jacket near floodwater, especially if the water level rises.

  • Properly wash hands with soap and water, or sanitizer or alcohol-based wipes, if they have been in floodwater.

Insurance claims

Property owners with active insurance policies must document the damage. Videos and photos of the damages are necessary for insurance claims because the insurance company must know the property's condition before and after the disaster. Without this documentation, the insurance adjuster may argue that the property damage existed already, in which case it would not be covered. As a result, affected parties are strongly advised to document any damages before contacting the insurance company.

Avoid damaged buildings

Entering a damaged structure should be avoided until the authorities in the region have concluded that it is safe to do so. Buildings may be damaged by hurricanes, rendering them unsafe to occupy. Hence, after a hurricane, residents should:

  • Immediately evacuate their homes or buildings if they hear shifting, creaking, and other odd noises. This might be a sign that the building is about to collapse.

  • Avoid entering a structure if there is still water surrounding it. Floods erode foundations, which can cause structures to sink, floors to break, or walls to fall.

  • Inspect the foundations for cracks and other signs of degradation. If a structure develops fractures or the foundation absorbs damage, it may become inhabitable.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Hurricanes can cause power outages that last for days or even weeks. In most cases, residents in the affected areas use alternative fuels or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking. This can result in a carbon monoxide (CO) buildup, which can be hazardous to people and animals.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas with no odor and cannot be seen, but if it builds up in a home, it may quickly cause sickness or even death. Hence, residents should:

  • Never use camp stoves, coal or gasoline-burning equipment, and similar items indoors. Instead, they must ensure they are stored outside and at least 20 feet away from any entry, window, or vent.

  • Have a CO detector when using a generator or anything else that uses fuel. The detector could be either battery-powered or have a backup battery.

  • Get out of the house and call for help if the carbon monoxide detector in the home starts beeping.

Protection from insects and strays

Hurricanes can cause difficulties with various insects and vertebrate pests, which can become unpleasant visitors in and around houses. The floods also drive many species into homes and other structures from their natural habitats. For protection, individuals in the affected areas must:

  • Apply insect repellent.

  • Wear long protective clothing.

  • Avoid any wild or stray animals after a storm.

  • Notify the proper authorities in the region if any animals are found dead.

  • Look out for any animals, particularly deadly snakes, that may have entered the buildings with the floods.

  • Wear boots with a minimum height of ten inches.

  • Get to the nearest hospital or clinic's emergency department in the case of a poisonous snake bite. In this case, it is important to take detailed notes on the snake's appearance to be described precisely to the attending physician.

Drink and eat safely

  • Throw away food that may have come into contact with flood water.

  • Take water safety precautions and drink only water that has been treated, bottled, or boiled.

  • Do not use tap water for cooking or drinking unless the authorities have assured residents that it is safe. Flood waters from the hurricane may have contaminated public water supplies or wells.

Provide assistance

  • Assist individuals who have been injured or are stranded.
  • Administer first aid as needed.

It is also natural to feel a wide range of emotions after a hurricane. Some emotions may be somewhat severe, both during and after a storm. Affected individuals and communities have a higher chance of full recovery if they ask for help when needed.

Helpful resources for Texas hurricanes include: