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TDEM Hurricane Awareness

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June 1 through November 30 is hurricane season. Although Texas coastal communities face the greatest threat from hurricane events, inland communities can also be impacted. Stay weather aware, and learn how to protect yourself and your family before, during, and after a hurricane.

Hurricane Threats and Hazards

Hazards associated with hurricanes include storm surge flooding, inland flooding, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf with strong rip currents.

Bolivar Peninsula, Texas in 2008 after Hurricane Ike storm surge

Hurricanes are powerful storms characterized by intense winds that begin at 74 mph and can reach up to 157mph or higher.  However, despite the destructive capability of hurricane force winds, water is the deadliest component of hurricane events. According to the National Hurricane Center, 75 percent of all tropical cyclone related fatalities between 1963 and 2012 were due to storm surge and rain induced flooding. Remember flooding events can last for days following a hurricane’s initial landfall.

Tornadoes are also a common occurrence with hurricanes, posing a significant threat for both coastal and inland communities. Hurricane Beulah, which made landfall in southeast Texas in 1967, spawned 115 tornadoes. The National Weather Service reports tornadoes associated with Hurricane Allen, 1980, caused $100 million dollars in damages to the Austin area.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

To help protect your family, home, and business during hurricane events keep the following preparedness tips in mind:

  • Board up doors and windows with plywood or install storm shutters. Keep in mind that winds are stronger at higher elevations, such as high-rise apartments or condos.
  • Bring in outdoor objects that could become deadly missiles, such as patio furniture, hanging plants, trash cans, gardening tools and barbecues.
  • If your home is vulnerable to rising water, move furniture and valuables to a higher level.
  • Before evacuating, cut off your electricity and turn off the gas. Downed electrical wires and broken gas pipes can be deadly and cause serious property damage. Make a final walk-through inspection of your home before leaving.
  • Moor boats securely or move them to designated safe areas well in advance of hurricanes. Do not try to tow a trailer or boat in high winds.
  • Assemble a family emergency supplies kit and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice. Find a list of suggested items for emergency supplies kits here.
  • When officials recommend or order an evacuation, leave. Do not try to ride out a hurricane in a high-risk area. Seek shelter inland with family or friends, at a hotel or designated shelter. Notify relatives and friends of your plans, and confirm hotel reservations.
  • Find out where shelters are located along your route in case clogged roads prevent you from reaching your destination.
  • Look at the evacuation maps for your area ahead of time.

Evacuation questions?

Evacuation questions?

Visit our evacuation Q&A page for more information.

Time to evacuate? Don’t forget to plan for all of your family members, including children, seniors, those with functional and access needs, and your pets!

Additional Resources

For more information about preparing for hurricanes, please visit:

Keep Your Family Safe During Flooding

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — Heavy rains often cause flooding in lowland areas, homes and basements. Safe Electricity reminds everyone to be alert to electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water, along with other potential hazards that create a serious danger of electric shock. Cleaning up and using water-damaged appliances also carry safety risks.  As part of the “Teach Learn Care” TLC Campaign, Safe Electricity urges parents and other caregivers to make sure children are aware of these hazards as well.

“The prospect of an electrical accident is probably not top of mind when you’re dealing with a flooded basement, room or even outdoors,” said Molly Hall, executive director of Safe Electricity. “But it’s the first thing you should think of before you step foot in the water.”

Safety measures to keep in mind include:

    • Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.
    • Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.
    • Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, s
      witches or fuses when you’re wet or when you’re standing in water.
    • Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
  • If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced.

“A good safety measure is to have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) professionally installed on outlets,” Hall said. “These safety devices can cut off power instantly if there’s a problem.”

GFCIs are recommended for outdoor outlets, and outlets near wet areas of the home such as kitchen, bath and laundry room.  If time does not permit installation before a storm, you can purchase portable GFCIs from a hardware store.

Accidents and fires involving electricity result in more than a thousand deaths, and ten thousand injuries each year. Prevention of electricity-related tragedies is the goal of Safe Electricity.

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.

 

Hurricane Local Statement issued August 23 at 10:26PM CDT by NWS

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By w-nws.webmaster@noaa.gov This product covers SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS Harvey to bring Heavy Rainfall and Tropical Storm Force Winds to South Central Texas NEW INFORMATION ————— * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: …read more

Source:: GONZALES COUNTY WX ALERT

      

Tropical Storm Watch issued August 23 at 10:15PM CDT until further notice by NWS

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By w-nws.webmaster@noaa.gov …TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT… * LOCATIONS AFFECTED – Gonzales * WIND – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Below tropical storm force wind – Peak Wind Forecast: 20-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph …read more

Source:: GONZALES COUNTY WX ALERT

      

Tropical Storm Watch issued August 23 at 10:15PM CDT until further notice by NWS

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By w-nws.webmaster@noaa.gov …TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT… * LOCATIONS AFFECTED – Hallettsville * WIND – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Below tropical storm force wind – Peak Wind Forecast: 20-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph …read more

Source:: LAVACA COUNTY WX ALERT

      

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