Hurricane Preparedness

 hurricane banner

Hurricane Preparedness 

Natural disasters damage thousands of homes and devastate the lives of families every year, but you can take time now to prepare. Protect your documents, build your disaster emergency kit, buy flood insurance, flood proof your home, and develop a family evacuation plan. Texans can also follow the GLO for updates on social media (TwitterInstagramMediumFacebook, and YouTube).

Five Ways to Prepare for Flooding

1. Protect Your Personal Documents and Special Items

  • Collect and safeguard critical financial, medical, educational, and legal documents and records.
  • Backup all documents in a waterproof bag and store electronic copies.
  • Take a video “tour” of your home to document all belongings and the home’s current condition. In case of an evacuation, you should be able to pack all your valuables within 15 minutes.

2. Build Your Disaster Evacuation Kit

  • Plan for your entire household including children, elderly, those with special needs, and pets. 
  • Medical supplies: Be equipped to tend to any current or unexpected medical conditions your family may have.
  • Tools and safety items: Small items like matches, flashlights, a multi-purpose tool, and a whistle can make a huge difference for your family while weathering the storm.
  • Food and supplies: Have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your family. Remember to pack anything specific to your family’s needs, such as infant formula.
  • Gather food, water, medical supplies, and documentation for your pets.
  • Download the Disaster Evacuation Checklist for more information.

3. Buy Flood Insurance

  • Most homeowner insurance policies will not cover flood loss.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available from an insurance agent or the NFIP. For flood insurance click here. Para seguro contra inundaciones haga oprima aquí.
  • If your home was rebuilt through the Texas General Land Office’s Homeowner Assistance Program, and is located in a floodplain, flood insurance must be maintained in perpetuity to be eligible for future government assistance.

4. Flood Proof Your Home – Take Steps to Minimize Flood Damage

  • Shut off the main circuit breaker to prevent appliances from short circuiting and eliminate the threat of electrocution.
  • Keep gutters and drains free of debris.
  • Install a water alarm and sump pumps with battery backup.
  • Install “check valves” in sewer lines to prevent floodwater from backing up into your drains.
  • Stockpile emergency protective materials such as plywood, plastic sheeting, and sandbags.
  • Elevate the heating system (furnace), water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
  • Waterproof the basement.
  • In areas with repetitive flooding, consider elevating your home.Develop a Family Evacuation Plan

5. Develop a Family Evacuation Plan 

  • Know your flood risk. You can find out the flood zone you are in by entering your address at the FEMA flood portal. However, many flood areas outside high risk area. It is important to prepare a plan regardless of your risk.
  • Know where you will meet up if you are separated and where you will stay.
  • Pack a “go bag” including items you need to take with you if you evacuate. A “go bag” should be easy to carry and kept in a place where you can grab it quickly. For a checklist, click here.
  • Evacuation routes: Check with the Texas Department of Transportation for evacuation routes.
  • Emergency shelter location: To find a shelter near you, download the FEMA app at
  • Communicate your plans with friends or family outside of your home area.


Safeguard Your Home

Doors and Windows

  • Reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace with a hurricane rated door.
  • Doors may be shuttered but one entry must be left easily accessible. Use a security dead bolt at least 1 inch long.
  • If possible, install tested, manufactured hurricane shutters or hurricane-rated windows.
  • Taping windows is not recommended. It offers very little protection and may be dangerous.


  • Trim trees, shrubs, and any dead limbs, especially close to home.
  • Repair or replace damaged fences.
  • Secure any loose items in your yard, on your property ahead of the storm.


  • Inspect roof for loose or damaged shingles. Consider replacing with shingles that are rated for hurricane-force winds.
  • Check and/or install hurricane clips to secure roof trusses to side walls.

Flood Insurance and Documentation

  • Most homeowners and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage, and flood insurance policies don’t automatically renew.
  • While an inch of water in your home might not seem like a lot, it’s enough to cause over $25,000 worth of damage.
  • There are a variety of hidden risks that can put your house in danger of flooding, like new housing developments or changes in weather patterns. Flood insurance is a surefire way to protect your home, even when it doesn’t face the obvious risks for flooding.
  • With flood insurance, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when a flood damages your home or belongings. And while the process of recovering may seem daunting, flood insurance makes it possible.
  • Keep a written inventory of your possessions.
  • Take photos or video of each room and the exterior of your home and business.
  • Gather important insurance documents such as insurance cards and policies. Keep them with you or stored at a safe location.
  • Review your insurance policies with your insurance agent. Understand what is and is not covered, what limits there may be. Adjust if necessary.
  • If you rent, consider renter’s insurance to protect damage or loss of your belongings.

Flood Insurance Resources


During a Flood

  • Follow evacuation orders from local officials.
  • Take your emergency supply kit with you. For more information, view the Disaster Evacuation Checklist.
  • View hurricane evacuation maps for up-to-date routes.
  • Notify family of your evacuation plans.
  • Make a plan for your pets and take them with you if you need to evacuate.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away. Most flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car immediately and move to higher ground.
  • Never drive around barricades.

After a Flood

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris, snakes, fire ants, alligators, etc. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.

GLO Resources

Helpful Resources