How to prepare for possible tropical storm system

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter, Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Here are some tips for how you and your family can prepare for a possible tropical storm system that could impact the Houston area this weekend.

While there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the atmospheric disturbance that has yet to organize into a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, the American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast says it is time to think ahead. Preparation is your best line of defense.

What should I do?

Communication is critical. Making sure your entire family is weather aware should be one of your top priorities.

- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep the doors closed as much as possible in case the power goes out. 

- Fill your car’s gas tank.

- Talk with family members and create an evacuation plan.

- Learn about your community or neighborhood’s hurricane response plan. 

- Think about buying flood insurance. Standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. 

What supplies do I need?

“You want to make sure that everyone in your family has the things that they need. Think about everything you would need on a daily basis,” said Jackie Drake, with the American Red Cross. 

Here are some basic items you should have on hand:

- Water, at least a three-day supply. One gallon per person per day. 

- Baby supplies, including formula and diapers. 

- Pet supplies.

- Medications you take on a daily basis. Get them filled now. 

- Canned and easy-to-prepare foods.

- First aid kit.

- Toiletries.

- Weather radio.

- Battery-powered portable lights and flashlights.

- Batteries.

- Battery pack.

- Power strips. If you end up at a shelter, there may be a limited number of outlets. 

What is Mayor Sylvester Turner saying about the city of Houston preparations for the possible storm?

"The assets are already here so they can be quickly deployed as needed, police, fire, office of emergency management, all of those are always on alert," Turner said. "This is an excellent time for people to be prepared.We are in hurricane season and these things can turn very quickly into something much worse than we anticipated." 

What is Judge Lina Hidalgo saying about the Harris County preparations for the possible storm? 

"We are working with our partners making sure that everybody is at the ready, always ensuring that our emergency response vehicles are stationed where they need to be. Right now there is a high level of uncertainty, but we're ready and we're watching," Hidalgo said. 

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