Hurricane season preparedness checklist: How ready is your family?

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Just a few weeks into hurricane season, which began June 1 and runs until Nov. 30, Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to approach the Texas coast this week, bringing with it 3-6 inches of rain.

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season this year with 11-17 named storms—five to nine of which are expected to become hurricanes—here are a few ways Houstonians can stay prepared this season.

1. Put together a disaster supplies kit.
A disaster supplies kit should include the following items, according to the National Hurricane Center:

• One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
• At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications
• Whistle
• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Manual can opener
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
• Pet food, leashes, crates and medications

2. Locate a hurricane evacuation route.
If you plan to evacuate in the event of a hurricane, make sure to plan an evacuation route in advance.

Some of the major Greater Houston area evacuation routes include the following highways:

•    I-10
•    I-45
•    Hwy. 290
•    Hwy. 59
•    I-37
•    Hwy. 83/Hwy. 281

Click here to see evacuate routes recommended by the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

Click here to see evacuation routes recommended by the Texas Department of Transportation.

3. Know the local emergency resources:
Here are some local organizations that can come in handy in the event of an emergency:

American Red Cross/ Greater Houston Area Chapter
2700 Hwy. 59, Houston
713-526-8300
www.redcross.org

Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management
111 E. Locust St., Angleton
979-849-5711
brazoriacountytx.gov

Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

307 Fort St., Richmond
281-342-6185
www.fbcoem.org

Galveston County Office of Emergency Management
1353 FM646 West, Ste. 201, Dickinson
888-384-2000
gcoem.org

Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
6922 Old Katy Road, Houston
713-881-3100
www.readyharris.org

Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
9472 Airport Road, Conroe
936-523-3900
www.mctxoem.org

United Way of Greater Houston
50 Waugh Dr., Houston
713-685-2300
www.unitedwayhouston.org

4. Enroll in a local Community Emergency Response Team program.
CERT programs offer basic training courses throughout the year to better prepare residents in the event of an emergency.

Harris County Citizen Corps
713-881-3100
www.harriscountycitizencorps.com
Contact: Mark Sloan, mark.sloan@oem.hctx.net

Fort Bend County CERT Program
281-342-6185 or 281-342-4798
www.fboem.org
Contact: Shauna Evans, shauna.evans@co.fort-bend.tx.us

Grand Oaks Community (Magnolia)
832-955-2425
Contact: Benji Perkins, benji.perkins45@gmail.com

Houston CERT
832-393-0922
www.houstoncert.org
Contact: Jackie Miller, ready.houston@houstontx.gov

Montgomery County CERT
936-523-3903 or 936-523-3910
www.mctxoem.org
Contact: Miranda Garvey, Miranda.garvey@mctx.org

Pearland Area Citizens Corps
281-997-9777 or 281-412-7034
www.pearlandcc.org
Contact: Buck Stevens, pacced@pearlandcc.org

The Woodlands CERT
281-210-5833
www.twcert.com
Contact: Allison Downey, adowney@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

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Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.
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