Texas Energy News September 20, 2022

Hurricane Preparedness

Being prepared for hurricanes can help you stay safe during one. Let Value Power's team of seasoned retail electricity experts aid you during this hurricane season.


Massive storm systems that form over ocean water that often move towards land are hurricanes. Threats from hurricanes aren’t only about the high winds and heavy rainfall. There are threats from storm surges, rip currents, tornadoes, and coastal and inland flooding. The damage from these storms extends from the coast to far inland, sometimes up to several hundred miles inland. Being prepared for hurricanes can help you stay safe during one.

When is Hurricane Season?

If you are new or newer to an area like Texas that is prone to hurricanes, you may wonder how long is hurricane season. Well, hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30; however, storms can form before and after these dates. On May 1 of every year, Hurricane Preparedness Week kicks off, followed by Hurricane Preparedness Month. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsors Hurricane Preparedness Week to help raise awareness about hurricane hazards and encourage you to start hurricane season preparations.

For those newer to hurricane season, it can be helpful to know the different types of storms you’ll encounter.

  • A Tropical Depression is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained surface winds of 38 mph/33 knots or less.
  • A Tropical Storm is a tropical cyclone that typically forms over tropical water with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph/34 to 63 knots.
  • A Hurricane is a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 74mph/64 knots or higher.
    • Hurricanes are called Typhoons in the western North Pacific.
    • Storms similar to hurricanes in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific are called Cyclones.
  • A Major Hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111mph/96 knots or higher. These storms correspond with Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
    • Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale gives ratings of 1 to 5 based on the hurricane’s sustained winds. Overall, the scale estimates the potential property damage and the potential for significant loss of life.

Supplies to Have on Hand During Hurricane Season

Having supplies on hand during hurricane season is helpful when push comes to shove. Taking the time early to gather supplies can help your mind be more at ease during an emergency.

Food and Supplies

  • Water for at least 3 days (1 gallon a day for every household member)
  • Non-perishable food for at least 3 days
  • Non-motorized can opener
  • Disposable cups, plates, napkins, and cutlery
  • Medications for at 7 days
  • Coolers
  • Baby supplies
  • Sports drinks, powdered or evaporated milk, and instant coffee and tea
  • Pet supplies

Hygiene and Sanitation

  • Face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Moist towelettes
  • Toiletries
  • Diapers for babies and toddlers
  • Menstrual pads/tampons/cups
  • Plastic bucket with a tight lid

Protective Gear

  • Warm clothes
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Medical supplies

Tools and Safety Items

  • Flashlights
  • Matches
  • Waterproof containers for documents
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Whistle
  • Phone charger and power bank
  • First-aid kit
  • Batteries
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Tarps (for roof leaks)
  • Physical map
  • Sandbags
  • Go-bag (packed and ready to go)

The list above is not exhaustive, and every household has unique needs and requirements, but this list should help you get started.

Getting Your Home Prepared at the Beginning of Hurricane Season

Getting your home hurricane ready can strengthen it against wind, rain, and flooding during this season. A good way to start is to check if your home is up to building code specifications and consider any retrofits needing completion. If you are a renter, work with your landlord early to prepare your home.

The structure itself isn’t the only thing you should prepare early. Make sure your insurance policies are reviewed and/or updated. Determine you and your family’s personal risk if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone.

Replenish your hurricane emergency supplies. If you are newer to a hurricane area, make or find a list of supplies you need and get your hurricane preparedness kit ready.

You can easily make these preparations before the start of hurricane season on June 1.

Know What the Different Alerts Mean

Through the course of the life of a storm, the National Weather Service issues different alerts to affected areas. Knowing the differences is an easy way to understand how to stay safe during hurricane season. These are some of the typical alerts you will come across.

  • Tropical Storm Watch: Let you know that tropical conditions are possible within 48 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Warn you that tropical conditions are expected within 36 hours or less. You should prepare for the wind of 39 to 73 mph.
  • Hurricane Watch: Let you know that hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning: Warn you that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours or less. You should prepare for wind 74 mph or higher and for a possible storm surge.
  • Storm Surge Watch: Tropical systems pushing water toward the shore with strong winds is possible within 48 hours.
  • Storm Surge Warning: Tropical systems pushing water toward the shore with strong winds are expected within 36 hours or less, so you need to prepare accordingly.
  • Boil Water Advisory/Alert: Contamination is suspected or known in the public water supply. So you need to disinfect water from the public water supply by boiling it or through a filtration system. Keep doing this until the advisory/alert is over. You may want to use bottled water instead during that time.
  • Voluntary Evacuation Orders: Dangerous weather conditions currently exist or will very likely exist. You are not required to leave, but you should consider leaving.
  • Mandatory Evacuation Orders: The life-threatening weather conditions currently exist, and you must evacuate according to your local officials’ instructions.

During hurricane season, it’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date with the weather forecast. You can also sign up for alerts from reputable sources such as the National Weather Service or NOAA.

Preparation Once a Storm Has Formed (3-5 Days Warning)

The preparation you did in May is only the start of what you need to do. When the storm has already formed, there is still more work. Now is the time to start putting some of that planning into action.

  • Fill your car with gas even if you did it recently. You do not want to be without gas in your car.
  • Stock up on water (at least 3 days' worth for every household member), shelf-stable foods, cooking supplies, and eating supplies.
  • Gather at least a 7-day supply of medications for you and those in your household.
  • Clean laundry.
  • Eat perishable foods and turn your refrigerator and freezer to their highest settings.
  • Sanitize your bathtub and fill it with water.
  • Clear your yard of anything that can blow away, including lawn furniture, patio furniture, trash cans, and fallen branches. You can trim or remove trees that may not make it through the storm.
  • Anchor items that are unsafe to bring inside, like grills and propane tanks.
  • Board up windows or put up storm shutters.
  • Have a battery-powered radio so you can hear updates if you lose power.
  • Stock up on batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Keep all your personal, financial, and medical records in something safe and waterproof.
  • Have a way to charge your cell phone. Charged power banks are great in emergencies.
  • Make preparations for flooding, such as plastic sheeting, sandbags, tarps, and cleaning gutters.
  • Have your go-hurricane preparedness kit ready.
  • Have your go-bag packed and ready in case you have to evacuate last minute.
  • Know your route out of town or to a shelter.

This list isn’t exhaustive but will give a good leg up on your prep.

Keeping Your Pet Safe During a Storm

Planning for your household also means planning for your pet and their needs. This planning includes trying to help curb their stress with toys and other comfort items like blankets.

  • Have a least a 7-day supply of food and water for them.
  • If your pet requires medication, have at least a 7-day supply.
  • Make sure your pet’s tags and other identification are current.
  • If your pet requires hygiene products such as litter, litterbox bags, and puppy pads, be sure to have plenty on hand.
  • Take updated shot records of your pet in case you need them.

If officials tell you to evacuate, your pet evacuates with you. Pets that are left behind face getting lost, being injured, or worse. So, know which evacuation shelters or hotels you can go to with your pet ahead of time.

Make Sure to Keep Spare Cash on Hand

Keep spare cash on hand in case ATMs and credit card processing systems are down. Power is often lost during hurricanes and tropical storms. Many electronic ways of paying and processing payments are down with power out. Having cash on hand makes it easier to conduct transactions during emergencies.

Due to this, ATMs are often incredibly busy and sometimes out-of-order in the days leading up to a storm. It’s always a good idea to take out some cash as soon as possible.

Know and Have Evacuation Plans

Not everyone lives in a mandatory evacuation zone; you have to decide whether to stay at home, leave the area, or move to higher ground. Either way, make sure you know an evacuation route and have an evacuation plan beforehand. Be sure to follow evacuation routes instead of taking shortcuts on roads that could already be blocked.

When you are devising your evacuation plans, consider the options for your household if you have pregnant women, small children, elderly individuals, or individuals with medical conditions. If you evacuate to a shelter or further from the storm, make sure someone knows where you plan to evacuate, even if you have to leave abruptly.

If your local authorities advise you to evacuate, do it right away, and don’t forget your emergency go kit. Be sure to have it packed and ready to go in case you have to evacuate last minute. Also, never try walking, swimming, or driving through floodwater. Turn around and don’t drown!

Review Your Plan With Household and Family Members

Communication is critical during emergency situations. So, making sure that everyone in your household knows the plan for staying and evacuation is a high priority. You also want to let family members and/or friends outside of your hurricane or tropical storm area know your plan. Being prepared helps people to panic less in emergencies.

You and your household members should consider having numbers saved on your phone and written down on paper.

  • Family and friends
  • Your local utility company
  • Local hospitals and Urgent Care
  • Local emergency management offices
  • County or parish fire department and law enforcement
  • Numbers for shelter and food
  • The number for roadside assistance
  • The number for statewide road closures

Having and reviewing your plan with your household keeps everyone on the same page for your household’s unique needs.

Make Sure You Know How to Contact Utilities

Knowing the best ways to contact your utilities after a hurricane or tropical storm is of incredible value. Storms can down wires, and you do not want to go near them because these lines don’t need to arc or spark to be livewires. Natural gas lines are another one to worry and signs that something is wrong is to watch for a spot in your yard bubbling.

Contact your utilities immediately if you notice downed wires or signs of a natural gas leak. Do not try to take care of it yourself. Make sure you have the numbers for your utilities (including their emergency lines) saved in your phone and securely written down somewhere in case you do not have cellphone access.

Remember, if it is an emergency, call 911.

Find Outage Tracker Information (This Varies by Utility)

Many local utility companies take advantage of technology and have their own apps. Downloading the app for your utility is a great way to prep for a hurricane or tropical storm. They tend to make it easy to report an outage, monitor power conditions, and stay informed.

Downloading one of the apps ahead of time helps in these emergency situations.

Consider Getting a Generator

You may want to consider a generator. It’s not an absolute necessity; however, generators are incredibly helpful if individuals such as those with medical devices that require power and cannot evacuate.

Portable generators are great for emergency situations. If you recently bought a generator in preparation for a storm, take time to learn to use it safely. Make sure that you have plenty of fuel necessary to run your generator on hand. When running a generator, run it outside to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Making or having a checklist makes it simple and convenient to prepare and know what preparations are left.


  • Evacuation Plan
  • Flashlights
  • Phone, charger, powerbank
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Batteries
  • Filled emergency preparedness kit
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Generator
  • Tarps
  • Go-bag (packed and ready to go)


  • Formula
  • Water for formula
  • Food (non-perishable)
  • Diapers
  • Clothing
  • Blanket


  • Leashes
  • Water (at least a 3-day supply)
  • Dry food
  • Shot records
  • Bed/blanket
  • Toy
  • Carrier/housing (depending on pet)


  • First-aid supplies
  • Medications and other medical supplies
  • Personal hygiene toiletries
  • Menstrual pads/tampons/cups
  • COVID-19 supplies
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Moist towelettes


  • Non-perishable food (for at least 3 days)
  • Water for at least 3 days (1 gallon a day for every household member)
  • Disposable cups, plates, cutlery
  • Snacks


  • Clothing
  • Sleeping bags and pillows
  • Blankets
  • Warm clothing
  • Rain gear


  • Important documents
  • List of phone numbers
  • Waterproof container for documents


  • Car full of gas
  • Cash
  • Cleared yard of anything that could cause damage
  • Anchored items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Windows covered
  • Boredom busters
  • Pen and paper

The list above is not exhaustive, and every household has unique needs and requirements, but this list should help you get started.

Value Power is Here to Help You Get Prepared for Hurricane Season

At Value Power, we are a team of seasoned retail electricity experts who have been serving residential and commercial customers since the beginning of deregulation and Power To Choose in Texas almost 20 years ago. Our customer-oriented brand focuses on offering value pricing coupled with great customer service. There are no complicated wait menus, long wait times, or bureaucratic run-around, so, we can aid you during this hurricane season.