T exas hurricane season has arrived. If you haven’t done so already, it is imperative to prepare a hurricane evacuation plan to keep you and your family safe. When disaster strikes, preparation can make all the difference in the world. Not only does it ensure that you and your family are able to safely and quickly flee danger, it can provide order and reassurance in an otherwise frightening time. Creating a plan Call a family meeting . Begin to plan and consider some of the following items to ensure you have a safe and effective evacuation plan. Find out if you live in an evacuation zone . Figure out if your home is in a high-risk area, or evacuation zone. The zones are divided into ZIP codes starting at the Gulf Coast and moving inland. Create a plan . Plan each step in your family’s evacuation plan and, if possible, assign certain family members a task. Periodically review and practice these tasks with each family member. Not only does this ensure the evacuation process goes smoothly, having specific tasks can help calm nerves during a stressful time.
prepare the following items: • Batteries • Flashlight • Mobile phone • Food • Water • Emergency radio • Blankets • Extra clothes • Toiletries and personal hygiene items • First-aid kit, including essential medications • Map and map of evacuation routes
Plan for those with special needs. If you have infants, elderly family members, or anyone in your home with special needs, make sure to think through everything they will need to evacuate. If possible, stock up on extra medications beforehand. Pack for pets. Pets have special needs, too! When preparing your evacuation kit, make sure to have pet food, medications, carrying crate and/or leash, and a few extra treats or your pet’s favorite toy to help ease anxiety. Prepare your vehicle. The last thing you want when evacuating is car trouble. Make sure your vehicle has a fresh oil change and top off all of the fluids. Keep the gas tank full and maintain your tire pressure. Finally, check your windshield wipers and replace them if they’re brittle or old. Have cash on hand. While credit cards and digital wallets will most likely be sufficient, having cash on hand is a good idea. During emergency scenarios, systems can be overburdened, and you might not be able to use mobile pay or credit cards. Texas hurricane evacuation resources • R esources for hurricane evacuation from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) • TxDOT evacuation map • A dditional information and resources from the National Weather Service Get a property insurance quote from Germania Insurance and be prepared when disaster strikes.
Have a destination in mind . While your first priority should be getting you and your family out of harm’s way, you’ll need a place to go at some point. Having a destination in mind places an ending to the evacuation process, which can be psychologically important. Furthermore, your destination may determine which evacuation route you take. Plan an evacuation route . The Texas Department of Transportation provides up-to-date evacuation routes, which outline the major highways that can be used to leave evacuation zones. Reference these maps and discuss the best route for you and your family. It may also be a good idea to have alternate routes planned in the event of road closures. Pack and prepare the essentials Ensuring that you and your family have the supplies you need to evacuate is an essential part of creating a hurricane evacuation plan. Make sure to pack and
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