Hurricane Preparedness in North Texas

north texas hurricane

Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. And yes, even in North Texas, we experience hurricanes!  In fact, over the last 20 years, we’ve had a few:

  • July 31, 1995: The remnants of Tropical Storm Dean, after making landfall along the middle to Upper Texas Coast, brought heavy rain to Hood & Somervell counties. Six to ten inches of rain fell between Glen Rose & Lipan, & street flooding occurred in Arlington. An F0 tornado damaged a home & destroyed outbuildings. Street flooding also occurred in Dallas, Fort Worth & Burleson.
  • August 27-31, 1996: The combination of a weak cold front and the moisture from Hurricane Dolly brought two to four inches of widespread rain over the local area. Cleburne received 5.4 inches. In Parker and Johnson counties, roads were flooded. Over the five day span, street flooding occurred in many other cities as well, including Decatur, Weatherford, Azle, Dallas, Fort Worth and Euless.
  • September 14-15, 1996: The remnants of Pacific Hurricane Fausto brought two to three inches of rain over Wise and northwest Parker counties.
  • September 11-13, 1998: After dumping as much as 17 inches of rain near Matagorda Bay, Tropical Storm Frances brought heavy rain to Central Texas.
  • September 23-24, 2005: Although a Category 5 storm in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Rita made landfall as a Category 3 storm just east of the Texas-Louisiana border during the early morning hours of September 23, 2005. Rainfall was scant in North Texas, but wind gusts reached 40 to 50 mph in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on September 24. Gusts were near 60 mph east of Dallas.
  • August 5-6, 2008: Tropical Storm Edouard made landfall on the Upper Texas Coast on August 5. During the early morning hours of August 6, the remnants were centered near Comanche, Hamilton, and Goldthwaite where as much as 8 to 10 inches of rain fell.
  • September 13, 2008: Hurricane Ike devastated the Upper Texas Coast, making landfall at Galveston during the early morning hours of September 13. As the center of the storm passed through Anderson County, sustained winds of 50 mph rapidly diminished to near-calm. Ike’s winds blew down numerous trees and caused power outages throughout East Texas

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Know the difference between the threat levels and plan accordingly.

Prepare for Hurricanes

  • Listen to your local weather station on television or radio.
  • Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. It’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please contact Davis Dyer Max.

Recommended Supplies

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage

Recover After a Hurricane

What to Do After a Hurricane:

  • Continue listening to your local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
  • Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

As You Rebuild:

  • Secure double entry doors at the top and the bottom.
  • Strengthen existing garage doors to improve the wind resistance, particularly double- wide garage doors.
  • Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
  • Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
  • Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans that is away from stairs and exits to prevent them from being moved by high winds and becoming missiles.

Ask a Professional to:

  • Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
  • Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
  • Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
  • Elevate your home if it is near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.

Let Your Family Know You’re Safe:

If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site to let your family and friends know about your welfare. You may also call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.