What to Know About Hurricane Harvey

By Todd Norman

It's Hurricane season, and Hurricanes are not an uncommon threat along the coasts. It is more rare for a hurricane to actually make landfall. The average of is 1.73 a year over the past 165 years.

On occasion though there are hurricanes that can leave a more lasting impression. Some of us may recall Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Louisiana; and then Hurricane Rita, which hit the same region only one month later.

A new hurricane threat is looming over the Gulf Coast, and here's what you should know...

1. As in any emergency remember people tend to panic and rumors abound. Make sure to look for  
    accurate news and news updates.

2. Hurricane Harvey is major hurricane that is sweeping towards the Texas gulf coastline as of Friday.

3. According to the New York Times and CNN, the Hurricane has developed into a category 2* and
    could hit landfall as a category 3, the first to hit the nation in 12 years.

4. In a recent report by the Weather Channel Hurricane Harvey will reach landfall either late tonight
    or early Saturday morning.

5. There are two major threats currently. They have catastrophic amounts of rainfall and flooding, and the already strong tropical storm strength winds and speeds of 110mph.

What you need to do if you are affected...

1. If your home lies dangerously in the path of Hurricane Harvey, local authorities would have already issued a warning of evacuation. It is important to listen to these warnings. Here is a link to the warnings current to the time of this posting.

2. If an evacuation is not necessary, and you haven't been prompted to evacuate, it is best to stay in your home. You have your supplies and necessities there. It also frees up the roads for emergency responders.

3. If evacuating, take essentials with you: food, extra water, extra clothing, toiletries, and cash if you have some handy.

4. If remaining in place but in an effected area keep a radio or news station playing. Keep up to date on the path of the storm.

5. There are a few things you can do to that ready.gov recommends prepare yourself and your home if you are staying put during the hurricane.

  • Trim or remove damaged tree limbs from around your yard.
  • Secure and reinforce windows, doors, and roofs. If you don't have time to go out and buy anything, use what you have. Plastic sheets and blankets can protect against shattering glass and rain seeping in.
  • Review items you might have in a disaster kit: First Aid, Food, Water, Hygiene Supplies.
  • Review escape routes in case an evacuation becomes necessary.
  • Make sure you have gas in your car.
The most important thing in an emergency is to keep a cool head. If you listen to the local authorities, keep an eye on the storm, and have basic supplies; you will be okay.
An additional resource in an emergency is knowing where safe houses are. Here is a link to the Hurricane Harvey crisis map. It has useful information about the warning areas and safe houses. Crisis Map

*Hurricanes are categorized on a scale from 1-5 with 5 being the strongest.
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