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Early, Before a Storm Threatens!
When a tropical storm or hurricane threatens, the National
Hurricane Center will issue advisories based on the
storm’s projected strength and estimated time of
FOR HURRICANE SEASON - DO THIS NOW!
photos or slides and make an inventory of
your personal possessions.
Store the information off the
premises, i.e., at the office or in a safe deposit box.
Review your insurance coverage. Hurricane damage may be
covered under a standard homeowners policy, but it is very
important to check with your insurance provider to assure
that you're covered. Ask your agent to review the policy
limits, including coverage for contents.
is generally not covered under standard homeowner
policies, so ask your agent about flood insurance, which
is available through the National Insurance Flood
If you rent a house or apartment, talk to your agent about
purchasing a renters insurance policy if you don't already
family plan is a work in progress. It should be reviewed
each year and appropriate changes made. Most importantly,
you should practice your plan before the beginning of each
season. No two hurricane plans are identical. Each family
has its own set of unique individuals and that will be
reflected in your own personal plan. It is important that
everyone knows what will be expected of them and what they
can expect of others. Children should be given assignments
as well. Keeping children occupied during a storm will
make them easier to control and help calm their fears.
During a hurricane emergency make sure that at least one
parent, relative or very close adult friend will be with
the children at all times.
decide where you will go when a storm threatens. If you
live in an evacuation zone, a mobile home, an area prone
to severe flooding or a dwelling considered to be unsafe,
you must plan on evacuating for even a minimal hurricane
If you are unsure whether you five in a flood-prone area,
call your county or city Office of Emergency Management and give
them your address to determine if your home is in an
evacuation zone. If you live outside an evacuation zone
and have a sturdy roof, impact code approved window
shutters and door braces, you should probably plan on
staying in your home when a storm threatens.
evacuating, make a decision now about where you will go.
If you have friends or relatives outside an evacuation
zone who live in a hurricane-safe house, try to make
arrangements to stay with them. Obviously you should make
those plans now so that they will be expecting you. Those
arrangements should include who will be responsible for
food, water and all the necessary items you will find
listed throughout this Guide. One of the advantages of an
arrangement like this is that you can divide up
responsibility for some of the tasks. Plan on leaving as
early as possible to avoid rapidly deteriorating weather
and increased traffic. Make sure that you take proper
(driver's license and utility bill with your
with you. You may need it to re-enter the City.
many people have planned on evacuating to an inland hotel.
Hotels tend to fill up fast and if they are all sold out
you may be forced to make a last-minute decision to find a
you intend to attempt to leave the Valley you should plan
on leaving as early as possible. If you try to fly out be
prepared for the possibility that the airport may close or
all flights may be full or canceled.
to drive away from an approaching storm could be a big
ADVISED: TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES ARE
NOTORIOUS FOR CHANGING DIRECTION. YOU MAY FIND
YOURSELF HEADED DIRECTLY INTO A THREATENED AREA.
A HURRICANE CAN TRAVEL FASTER THAN A TRAFFIC JAM
AND THE WORST PLACE TO BE IN A HURRICANE IS
STUCK IN YOUR CAR. A BETTER PLAN IS TO STAY IN A
WELL-CONSTRUCTED, PROPERLY-PREPARED STRUCTURE.
A shelter should be your last resort if you have
nowhere else to go. Shelters will be crowded and
uncomfortable with no privacy. Bring pillows, blankets and
your own supply of food, water and prescription medicines.
If you have young children you'll need a few of their
favorite small toys, games and books. Do not go to a
shelter until you hear from officials that the specific
shelter has opened. NOT ALL SHELTERS WILL BE OPENED WHEN A
STORM APPROACHES. Familiarize yourself with the location
of 2 or 3 shelters in your area so that you know exactly
where to go when the shelter opens. Pets, alcohol and
firearms are not allowed in shelters.
with your employer to see if you will have any special job
responsibilities when a storm threatens. Have a clear
understanding that you will require an appropriate amount
of time to prepare your home and family.
an emergency meeting place in case your family gets
separated. Designate an out of town family member or friend
as an emergency contact.
down the important points in your plan so it is clear who
will handle each task and you won't forget anything in the
heat of the moment.
interior closet, bathroom, stairwell or hallway with no
windows may serve as safe room If your home begins to
break apart during a storm, a safe room is where your
family would have the best chance of surviving. You should
identify the safe room in your home and make sure that
everyone knows where it is. When a storm hits, this is
where you should be. Safe rooms can also be used in other
weather related emergencies such as tornadoes. A designated
safe room built into every new home could provide
significant additional protection for you family. This can
be relatively inexpensive and has proven to be effective.
Existing closets and bathrooms can be improved to provide
additional strength to the walls and ceiling. A well-built
designated safe room can provide relatively safe haven and
peace of mind.
Damage -- Take Action Now
During a hurricane homes may be damaged by high
winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing
high winds inside your home. The force of wind alone
can cause weak places in your home to fail. The
following is a FEMA guide developed after Hurricane Andrew
swept through Florida.
the Wind: Protecting Your Home from Hurricane and Wind
this checklist as a guide for supplies you may need if
Drinking Water (At least 7 Gallons Per Person)
& Water in an
battery operated lamps
Magazines and Toys
Cash (ATMs may
not work after the storm)
Duct or Masking
Ice Chest and
Medicine (2-Week Supply)
Sterilization (Unscented with Hypochlorite the
only active ingredient), Tincture Of Iodine,
or water purification tablets
Plates, Glasses and Utensils
Camera and Film
and Fish (Tuna, Ham, Spam, Chicken, Sardines,
Coffee and Tea
Foods (Canned Spaghetti, Soup, Stew, Chili,
or Evaporated Milk
Back to top
tropical storm or hurricane ”watch” means that
tropical storm or hurricane conditions are a possible
threat within 36 hours in the specified region. Begin
preliminary preparations to protect life and property.
Avoid long lines, ensure your vehicle has a full tank of
fuel in case an evacuation is ordered. Stay tuned to your local news for updates.
Businesses Must Be Secure
This includes taking down and bringing in any loose signs,
tables, chairs and other loose structures.
Construction Sites Must Secure Sites and Loose Structures
tropical storm or hurricane “ warning” means tropical
storm or hurricane conditions are expected in a specified
region within 24 hours. All of your preparations should be
completed. REMEMBER: winds and storm surge from tropical
storms are not normally as strong as a hurricane. However,
many tropical storms (and even tropical depressions) may
contain tornadoes, torrential rains, and flooding. If an
evacuation is ordered, please remember to take with you an
emergency suitcase of essential hurricane supplies,
including items such as identification (driver's license
and utility bill with your Edinburg address) and
using home health care should contact their provider to
make arrangements for care.
hurricane can be a terrifying experience. Your
survival may depend on you ability to think quickly and
clearly. Talk or read to your young
children. Explain what they are hearing, as
hurricane winds can be very loud and frightening.
Reassure them that it may take a while, but eventually the
storm will pass. Children can sense when adults are
upset. Keep a clear head for their sake and
- Response to Emergency Calls may cease at the arrival of
Tropical Storm Force Winds
City of Edinburg Fire, Rescue and Police crews may cease
emergency operations during an impending hurricane when
the winds reach Tropical Storm force (i.e. 40 mph).
Following a hurricane, emergency calls will be very
limited due to flooding, power lines down, street access,
and limited personnel.
you live in an evacuation zone but did not evacuate, you
may still be able to escape rising water. Emergency
managers suggest you look for a last-resort refuge.
Evacuation zones are prone to surge-flooding, so if you
are trapped in an evacuation zone as the storm is hitting,
try to get into a two-story or taller building. If you are
in a high-rise, avoid the upper floors because winds are
stronger the higher you go. Try to quickly, identify a
safe room (i.e., parking garage, interior room, etc.).
Last-resort refuges are named just that
for a very good reason. You should not consider
this as an option in your hurricane plan. If you
live in an evacuation zone you should plan to
evacuate when told. But just in case, it's a
good idea to identify a last resort refuge now.
conditions will deteriorate rapidly as the storm gets
closer. All your preparations should have been made. If
you missed anything, it may be too late to prepare
indoors, away from windows and doors.
turning off circuit breakers before the power goes off (as
it probably will). Power surges and spikes can damage
electronic equipment. Also, broken or shorted wires become
fire hazards when the power is turned back on. You may
want to leave one breaker on that feeds a lamp, so you
will know when the power comes back on.
the power goes out, use flashlights or battery operated
lamps (not candles or kerosene lamps) during the storm.
Do not use lighting that has a flame. High winds may
cause windows to break and knock the candle over or come
in contact with curtains. Frightened children or
pets could also knock it over. During a hurricane
emergency services, including the fire department, may be
overwhelmed or may not be able to reach you during the
storm. It is best to take the extra precaution and
not to use candles or similar type lighting.
you're in your safe room, stay there even if you hear
breaking glass or worse. It is extremely dangerous to
expose yourself to the hurricane's winds.
should be placed in their carriers.
your house begins to break apart, cover yourself with the
mattress and pillows. If your safe room is a bathroom, you
can get in the bathtub and cover yourself with the
not leave your safe room until you hear an official
"All's Clear." If the wind dies down, you may be
in the eye of the storm. Winds may resume at any time as
strong (or stronger) than before, but will be coming from
a different direction.
the phone for urgent calls only. Avoid contact with the
phone if you hear thunder.
will be announced as needed and according to the storm's
severity and direction.