In 2017 - Resolve to Be Ready
Take steps now to help prepare for emergencies
Hurricanes aren't the only emergency which might require you to evacuate. Remember that in the event of a hazardous material spill, flood, wildfire, or other emergency, you may have to leave your home quickly, and may not be able to return for some time.
Have a family evacuation plan and designate a meeting place:
1) Immediately outside of your home
2) Just outside of your neighborhood
3) Across town
4) Outside of Houston
In the event of an emergency where you can't access your home, everyone will know where to go. Also, know how to get to each of your meeting places from home, work and school.
One of the things that can be distrupted during emergencies, especially ones with little to no warning, is communications. Have a plan to communicate with each other in an emergency.
Designate an out-of-town friend or family member to serve as your family's "emergency check-in person".
Oftentimes in emergencies, it is easier to reach someone outside of the area than someone in the affected area. Also, SMS or "text-messages" may work when phone calls do not. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to send a text message.
Using social media during emergencies can sometimes be an effective way of communicating, especially when phone service may be down, but internet connections may still work. Connect with your family's social media profiles and make sure you write it into your plan.
Staying informed is incredibly important during a disaster. The City of Houston uses a variety of channels to help ensure that Houstonians get timely information when there are emergencies in the City.
The official emergency notification system in Houston is AlertHouston, which sends emails to residents with instructions on what to do when an emergency occurs. Houstonians signed up for AlertHouston will receive notifications about situations in their neighborhood, and those that will affect the whole City.
In addition, the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District has a "Reverse 911" system which will pulse out a phone call and text message to your phone if there is an emergency in your neighborhood.All traditional land-line phones in Harris and Fort Bend Counties are already registered, but if you primarily use a mobile phone, or have digital phone service (like those offered by cable companies), you need to register your phone.
Emergencies don't always give us warning. That's why it's important to have what we need ready to go in case we have to act without notice.
Have an emergency kit in your home with enough supplies to last your family 5-7 days, and be sure to consider any elderly or disabled family members' needs, as well as those of your pets.
You should also have a smaller emergency kit in your vehicle, office, or school so that you have what you need if you are unable to return home.