IntroductionYou never know when a disaster is going to strike, so your best option is to try to be prepared ahead of time. The more you are prepared for a situation, the better it will befor you and your family. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry.
Hurricane Basics• Hurricanes are among the most fiercest forces on earth.• They are a vast mass of clouds that form in the tropics, and bring heat to the poles.• These tropical cyclones bring high winds, heavy rains, and dangerous tides from the coast to areas farther inland.
Hurricane Basics Continued…• Hurricanes can develop into very powerful storms if the conditions in the atmosphere are right.• Below are several key factors in hurricane development.a) First, you need a spin—Tropical Disturbances develop from the convergence of trade winds in the tropics. All tropical systems must have some sort or rotation.b) Warm water a must--Hurricanes are a vast heat engine that need sea surface temperatures to be at least 80 degrees in order to grow and mature.c) No shearing allowed—Unlike tornadoes, hurricanes are a vertically stacked system that move from east to west. Therefore, they must have high pressure and light winds aloft.
Stages of Hurricane Development• Hurricanes go through several different stages of development before they reach hurricane status.• Tropical Wave--Is the first step toward a hurricane. They are areas of low pressure that lack a closed center of circulation. About hundred of these develop each year in the Atlantic Ocean.• Tropical Depression--Develops when a tropical wave develops a closed low level circulation, and wind speeds in excess of 20 knots, or 25 mph.• Tropical Storm—Develops when a tropical depression has sustained wind speeds of 35 knots, or 39 mph.• Hurricane—Develops when a tropical storm has sustained wind speeds of 65 knots, or 74 mph.
The Saffir-Simpson ScaleOnce a tropical system matures to a hurricane, itcan continue to strengthen to even greaterheights.The stronger the hurricane, the morecatastrophic the damage can be upon landfall.Below is the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which is usedto measure a hurricane’s intensity and potentialfor damage.
The Effects of a Hurricane• Hurricanes can bring a variety of effects. Some are greater than the others.• Below is a brief description of each.• Rain—Probably the most underrated of all effects from a tropical storm or hurricane. Amounts can be as high as several feet.• Wind—The next most devastating effect behind storm surge, hurricanes can have winds up to and above 200 mph.• Tornadoes—Many do not realize it, but hurricanes can produce tornadoes upon landfall. The friction between the storm and land produces a great deal of instability, and thus, Tornadoes.• Storm Surge—The most deadly effect from a hurricane, this rising dome of water that accompanies landfall accounts for about 90 percent of all hurricane deaths.
Top Ten Safety Preparedness Tip1. Create an Emergency Kit for your home and vehicle2. Have enough food, water, and medical supplies to last 3 to 5 days without aid from others3. Keep a current list of the medications you are taking4. Make a communication plan with family and friends in case you are separated5. Take pictures of your property before a storm and have a plan for securing property with appropriate materials6. Review your evacuation plan and routes with your family7. Be familiar with alerts, warnings, and local emergency services8. Learn the community emergency plans9. Keep important documents, both personal and financial, in a waterproof portable container or zip lock bag10. Keep food, water, and medicines on hand for pets and make plans to ensure their safe shelter and care
Preparedness- Make a Plan• Food: Pack food that is ready-to-eat, needs no refrigeration, and uses little water to prepare. Pack a manual can opener and flatware.• Drinking water: Store water in clean, airtight containers (at least 1 gallon/person/day). Clean your bathtub with bleach before filling with water for bathing. Boil tap water until officials say it is safe. Report broken water or sewer lines.• Battery-operated radio: Listen for reports from local authorities.• Medications: Have prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, essential toiletries, and mosquito repellent in a first aid kit. Include spare eyeglasses, hearing aids, and batteries, if needed. Write special needs on waterproof lists for family members.
Preparedness- Make a Plan Continued• Clothing: Have at least two pairs of shoes.• Communications plan: Choose an out-of-state contact for your family to call if local phone lines do not work. Pick a meeting place away from home in case your neighborhood is blocked.• Pets: The Humane Society offers the tips below : If you evacuate, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Note that many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Keep the number of local animal shelters on your emergency info list. Securely fasten current ID tags to pets collar with your contact info. Pack a Pet Survival Kit in advance If you must leave your pet, confine it to a safe area indoors; NEVER leave your pet chained outside. Place notices to alert others that pets are in the house. Leave your number or a contact’s as well as the name and number of your vet.
Preparedness- Protect Your Property• Early preparation will make securing your property faster and less of a hassle. Throughout the year, take the following steps to prepare: Store emergency supplies in the trunk of your car. Take pictures of your property. Remove diseased or damaged limbs and thin out branches to make trees more wind resistant. Keep gutters clear of debris to allow water to flow off your house. Keep plywood and other supplies on hand to avoid last minute shopping. If planning to use a portable generator, place in a well-ventilated area and have working carbon monoxide detectors installed in the house. Keep important documents in one place in a waterproof, portable container.
Preparedness- Protect Your Property Continued• When a hurricane enters the Gulf, make the following last minute preparations: Bring inside lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind. Patch weak spots in doors, windows, and roofs. Cover all home windows. If you don’t have shutters, use precut ½-inch outdoor plywood. Install anchors for plywood and pre-drill holes in plywood so you can put it up quickly. Tape will not keep windows from breaking.• If no one will ride out the storm at your house: Turn off water to your house at the city’s shut-off valve (usually in the front yard). Turn off the main power supply to the house at the circuit breaker.
Overview• Emergency Prep Kit • These are just some• Preparedness Plan suggestions to get you• Food & Drink thinking about what you and your family may• Medicine & need.• Toiletries • Stock up now before• Tools lines are long and• Documents supplies are short• Clothing & Bedding• Entertainment• Pets
Plans Preparedness Plan• Register individuals with special needs with your county’s Emergency Management Office (211).• Designate an out-of-state contact and share number with family.• Know your home’s vulnerability and decide if you will evacuate or shelter-in-place.• Select a meeting place for your family in case you cannot get into your neighborhood.• Stock up on supplies for you, your family, and your pets.• Make a list of prescriptions that you will need to refill prior to a storm.• Discuss plan with family and friends
Provisions Food Drinks• Tuna• Honey • Bottled Water• Ready-to-eat soup • Frozen Water bottles• Canned Fruits • Gatorade• Nuts• Granola Bars • Canned Juice• Crackers • Canned/Powered Milk• Cereal• Peanut butter • Instant Coffee• Bread• Jelly Have enough nonperishable foods to last 2 weeks. Store them in a waterproof box. Avoid foods that are salty, dry, or high in fat or protein as they increase thirst.
Medicine & Toiletries• First Aid Kit • Baby Wipes• Eye Drops • Toothbrush• Prescription Medications • Toothpaste• Common Pain Killers • Deodorant• Bug Repellent • Mouthwash• Glasses/Contacts • Hairbrush• Contact lens • Feminine Hygiene Items solution/case • Razor/Shaving cream• Antibacterial wipes • Soap/Shampoo• Baby powder• Hand Sanitizer
Tools• Flashlight • Fire Extinguisher• Batteries • Charcoal/Lighter Fluid• Battery- operated • Grill radio or TV • Plastic Trash bags• Matches in waterproof • Hammer and nails container • Cleaning Supplies• Thermos and coolers • Propane Tanks• Manual can opener • Tarps• Gas can • Duct Tape• Generator • Tree Saw• Chaffing fuel• Hand Tools
Documents Important Papers• Important Telephone numbers • Cash and traveler’s check• Bank account numbers • Phone cards• Family records • List of Allergies for each family (birth, marriage, and death member certificates) • List of special needs for each• Inventory of valuable family member household goods • Evacuation map• Photos of home prior to storm • Passports, social security• Copy of will, insurance cards, and immunization policy, deeds, stocks, and records bonds. Keep these items in a• Credit Card account numbers waterproof containers or in plastic bags.
Clothing & Bedding Clothing Bedding• Rain Gear • Blankets• Sturdy Shoes • Sleeping Bags• Gloves for cleaning up • Pillows• At least one complete change of clothes and shoes per person• Long-sleeve, loose shirts
Entertainment Distraction• Board Games• Books• Crayons & paper• Playing cards• Toys• Instruments
Pets Pet Survival Kit• Food, water, and medicine for 5 days• Veterinary records• Carriers, blanket or bed, and toys• Litter box and litter• Leash• Current photo with physical description and info on allergies/illnesses
Planning For a Hurricane Video The smartest thing to do when a hurricane is in the Gulf of Mexico is to monitor TV and radio broadcasts and to listen to instructions from local officials. Hurricanes may take several days to arrive. Go over your evacuation plans with your family before the storm. Make sure you have road maps and you know the evacuation routes. When a storm is in the Gulf, fill your gas tank and keep it full. Make sure your emergency supply kit is ready to go. Your emergency preparedness kit should include: radio, flashlight, extra batteries, cash and credit cards, copies of prescriptions, copies of insurance information, bottled water and non- perishable food. Hurricanes are dangerous and unpredictable. Plan for the storm to be worse than predicted.
Evacuation and Special Needs If you or family members have special needs -- leave before a mandatory evacuation When a hurricane threatens, make special plans for babies – the elderly – and medically fragile family members. It will take much longer to travel during a mandatory evacuation. Make travel easier on them by leaving early. If you are traveling with babies, the elderly or family members with special health care needs -- remember the special supplies and equipment that they will need for several days. If you yourself have any special health care needs – and you can travel on your own -- it’s a good idea to leave ahead of the crowd. If you depend on special medical equipment, you may also want to leave before a mandatory evacuation. Make sure you’ve got special medical supplies and equipment in your emergency kit.
Emergency Supplies Supplies in your emergency kit Your supplies should include: • Credit cards, cash and road maps. Battery- operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, extra keys, tools, NOAA weather radio. • First-aid kit, extra prescription medications, written copies of prescriptions, special medical items, eyeglasses, hearing aids and batteries. • Three-day supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day, coolers for food and ice storage, paper plates, plastic utensils, manual can opener. • Toilet paper, cleanup supplies, personal hygiene products. • Special items and equipment for babies, the elderly, medically fragile individuals and pets. • Copies of important documents and records, photo IDs, driver license, proof of residence, account numbers, information for insurance claims. • Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and extra
Your Property Before The Storm Plan to take care of your property before you face a storm Make plans for taking care of your property BEFORE you face any kind of storm threat. Track your vulnerability to flooding from hurricanes by checking floodplain maps. As construction increases in your area, floodplains can change. Check your insurance coverage. Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Learn about the National Flood Insurance Program. Find out if your home meets current building code requirements for high winds. Structures built to meet or exceed current building code high-wind provisions have a better chance of surviving violent storms. Protect all windows by installing commercial shutters or preparing 5/8 inch plywood panels. Garage doors can be the first thing in a home to fail. Reinforce garage doors to withstand high winds. Before hurricane season, trim dead wood and weak branches from trees. Trim overhanging branches from all trees. Any dead tree near a home is a hazard.
Evacuation Checklist Keep this checklist of tasks to do before you evacuate When a hurricane threatens your area, evacuating is the smartest move. Make your evacuation plans in advance. Keep this checklist of important tasks – and review it before you leave. Put up shutters or plywood on all windows and openings. Winds are stronger at higher elevations, and high-rise apartments or condos. Move patio furniture, hanging plants and gas grills inside. If your home is vulnerable to rising water, move valuables and furniture to a higher level. Put valuable documents in air-tight plastic containers that are easy to carry during an evacuation. Turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box to protect appliances from power surges. This will reduce the risk of live dangling wires after the storm. If the house is supplied with natural or propane gas, check in advance with your gas company on what to do. Make a final walk-through inspection of the home before closing the door and beginning your evacuation.
Hurricane Evacuation Plan Continued…• The zip code zones are labeled Zip Zone Coastal, Zip Zone A, Zip Zone B and Zip Zone C.• Zip Zone Coastal encompasses the zip codes utilized on Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula, and portions of coastal Brazoria County including Freeport and Surfside. This is the most threatened geographic area and residents of these zip codes will evacuate first when a hurricane approaches.• Zip Zone A includes zip codes for nearly all of mainland Galveston County, eastern Brazoria County, and the communities along Clear Creek in southern Harris County.• Zip Zone B includes zip codes for eastern and southern Harris County, northwestern Galveston County and central Brazoria County.• Zip Zone C – the last region to evacuate under the new plan – includes eastern Harris County, portions of Houston, and most of northern Brazoria County.
Evacuation Route Information• The primary evacuation routes for Galveston County are Interstate 45, Highway 146, Highway 6 and Highway 124. Galveston Island and mainland.• Galveston County residents should use I-45, Hwy. 146 and Hwy. 6 to evacuate the area. Residents of Bolivar Peninsula should evacuate via Highway 87 to Highway 124 through Chambers County.• The State of Texas will provide wrecker assistance and comfort stations with emergency food, ice and fuel along I-45, I-10, U.S. 290, and Highway 59. These services may not be available to evacuees who choose routes other than the primary evacuation routes, such as Farm-to-Market roads.
Galveston County Evacuation InformationGalveston County and several municipalities in theCounty have contracted with local school districtsto obtain buses for evacuation purposes. Theprimary school district with this capability is theClear Creek Independent School District. In theevent buses are not available from the state ofTexas (for example, when a fast-forming stormdoes not allow enough lead time), GalvestonCounty may activate its bus transportation plan withCCISD. Copies of the CCISD bus agreement areavailable from GCOEM.
EVACUATION OF CITIZENS WITH MEDICAL & FUNCTIONAL NEEDS• The State of Texas 2-1-1 Registry offers Texans an opportunity to register in advance for medical/functional-needs assistance. Local jurisdictions receive this confidential data via email and are responsible for adding this information to their databases. The data base is not a promise of transportation. The State data-entry process will typically shut down approximately 24 hours prior to landfall, with calls then routed to 911.• Galveston County and the City of Galveston contract with the City of Austin for shelter space for medical and functional needs individuals. Copies of these agreements are available from the City or the County. Each city in Galveston County has specific responsibilities related to the evacuation of medical/functional needs residents to Austin.
Citizens in Need of Transportation• Citizens who need transportation out of Galveston County will be advised to go to a pickup point in their community, or directly to one of the two evacuation (departure) points in the County.• In many cases, citizens will have no means of transport to their pickup point or evacuation point. The Cities and County will use their own transportation resources (cars, buses, vans, etc.) and personnel (police, fire, etc.) to transport these individuals to the appropriate locations.• Each City and the County will advise residents of luggage restrictions and pet requirements. It is the policy of Galveston County and its cities to accommodate service animals as well as family pets. However each City and the County reserve the right to deny passage for animals that are not restrained and/or deemed a threat to evacuees.
SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL FIRST RESPONDER SHELTER• Under an agreement signed by the Santa Fe Independent School District (SFISD), Galveston County and local jurisdictions in 2011, SFISD will allow use of portions of Santa Fe High School and parking lots to house first-responders and store equipment prior to landfall. Galveston County is installing a large generator at the school and will provide meals for first- responders through a separate contract. The school will be vacated as soon as feasible after the storm passes, or when SFISD resumes classes. Signatories to the agreement will not allow the possession or use of drugs or alcohol, or harbor pets, while on school property.
PUBLIC ASSEMBLY POINTS (FOR TRANSPORT TO EMBARKATION HUBS)The following pickup points have been designated for individuals who needtransportation out of Galveston County when a mandatory evacuation iscoming up. The Cities and County may revise or eliminate these locationsbased on circumstances at the time of evacuation.• Cities will be responsible for transporting mainland residents from city pickup points to one of the two embarkation hubs: the Charles T. Doyle Convention Center, 2010 5th Ave. N. in Texas City. Island residents will be directed to use Island Transit to reach the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway in Galveston. The Galveston County Parks & Senior Services Department will assist with pickup of citizens at unincorporated county pickup points.
PUBLIC ASSEMBLY POINTS Continued…a. Bayou Vista/Freddiesville, a. Hitchcock: Hitchcock Public Library, 8005 Barry Ave.b. Bolivar Peninsula b. Crystal Beach County Annex, 946 Noble Carl Road, Crystal Beachc. Clear Lake c. Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center, 300 W. Shores, Kemah, League Walker St., League City City d. McAdams Junior High School, 4007 Video St., Dickinsond. Dickinson e. Dickinson Community Center, 2714e. Dickinson (unincorporated) Hwy. 3, Dickinson f. Friendswood Library, 416 S.f. Friendswood Friendswood Drive, Friendswoodg. Galveston, Jamaica Beach g. Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway Ave., Galvestonh. San Leon-Bacliff h. Bacliff Community Center, 4500i. Santa Fe 10th St., Bacliff i. Santa Fe Junior High School, 4200j. Texas City, La Marque, Tiki Warpath Ave., Santa Fe Island j. Doyle Convention Center, 2010 5th Ave. N., Texas City
MEDICAL TRIAGE AT EMBARKATION POINTS• Triage at the embarkation points will be provided by a team deployed by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Individuals who present at the Island Community Center or Doyle Center with major medical issues will be transported to a state medical shelter in San Antonio. Individuals who board a bus to Austin and develop medical problems en route will be directed to a medical shelter in Austin.