Here are tips from Houstonians prepping for potential of double threat storms

HOUSTON – People are starting to stock up on supplies ahead of the tropical depression. At the Home Depot in Sugar Land, Justin Brock grabbed one of the last remaining generators available on Friday.

“I feel blessed,” he said. “I’m not going to call it luck. I’m going to call it being blessed.”

The store saw a steady stream of customers but no major lines.

“Buckets, tarps, shovels, plywood, those are the things that normally fly off the shelf quickly,” said assistant manager Robert McCardell.

While Texans are no strangers to storms, the latest threat comes during a pandemic. Still, several customers said that doesn’t change the list of essential items needed to ride out the weather.

“I need to prepare with some flashlights and batteries, glow sticks and some gloves just in case we need to do something outside while it’s raining,” said Gerardo Perez.

He said he learned a tough lesson during Hurricane Harvey.

“We weren’t prepared to tell you the truth. Now, we are,” Perez said.

The store is expecting another shipment of generators soon, McCardell said. There were still plenty of flashlights, plywood and bottled water available on Friday.

Homeowners brace for storms

The massive wind and rains of a powerful hurricane can destroy your home, literally pull it apart. Homeowners are looking for ways to protect their property during a severe weather event.

Residents can remove low hanging tree limbs on the property that are either touching your home or hovering above your roof.

“One of the most important things to check are those long limbs coming off aging trees,” said Art Gomez from Lockmer Collins Roof Repair Squad. “If they are actually hanging over the house, cut them back because they will come down and tear up your home when they do and roof damage is really expensive.”

The next area to check is the roof itself. Residents can look for shingles that are ripped off or raised, holes and big gaps around the exhaust vents.

“Check especially around the air vents big and small for missing caulking, holes, large gaps. This is where the water from those torrential rains is going to go and cause havoc,” Gomez said.

And of course, homeowners can’t forget three of the most vulnerable parts of the property including the structure, doors and windows. Experts say use plywood to boarded up.

“You can’t just slap some wood over your windows. You have to measure the width and height of each window and door and cut your wood to fit exactly. Measure twice and cut once. Then, you need to screw that wood into place using at least 20 to 30 screws. Go right into the window framing on the outside of the house. The same goes for the doors,” Gomez said.

Lastly, experts warn, if the water starts rising around your home, don’t worry about your central air conditioning unit outside. Do not try, as many people do, to cover up the unit with plastic. Stay away from that area.

Experts say during a flood with several inches of water or worse, a person can be electrocuted when trying to waterproof an A/C unit. The electricity from the unit could be flowing through the water around the unit.

“Forget it that unit is probably ruined already and you are going to get seriously hurt for nothing,” says Joel Grajeda with Village Plumbing and Air.

About the Authors:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.