HOW TO PREPARE:
- Find out what your floodplain is. The Houston area has five major floodplain scenarios, depending on how close you are to major creeks, bayous or other waterways.
- Know your evacuation zone. To avoid crazy traffic issues for an evacuation, there is now a zip code zone system set up for Houston residents. This allows for gradual and organized evacuations.
- Plan ahead. Plan with your family where you will evacuate if need be. Plan for your pets too, as some shelters do not accept pets. Know and review your evacuation routes. Never drive through high water. Create a family communication plan. Prepare a disaster kit and place in portable container.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Is your coverage up to date? Take photos and collect receipts of hard to replace items.
- Do you have flood insurance on your home? Don’t wait until there is a named storm in the Gulf to call your insurance agent because at that point it is too late. As all flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they become effective.
- Prepare your Pet:
A pet emergency kit isn’t that much different to yours. Enough water for three days, non-perishable food (include a can opener if needed), a solid carrier, litter, litter box, puppy pads, plastic bags, medicine and medical records for both you and your pet in waterproof containers, extra leash, and a picture of your pet on you in case the worst happens and you get separated. Tags and/or micro-chipping your pet will also make it easier to recover, should it get lost. If you’re staying home to ride out the storm, keep your pet in its carrier or on a leash. You never know when you might be forced to evacuate. And even if that doesn’t happen, you don’t want to be tracking down a petrified pet during the chaos. Therefore, secure your pet before the storm hits.