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  1. Monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local, and tribal officials. 
  2. Know your evacuation zone and be sure to follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  3. Those in potentially affected areas should be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for their pets. Individuals should visit or to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms.
  4. There is the potential for flooding with this storm. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  5. Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. It only takes a small amount of water to move people or vehicles. If you encounter a flooded roadway, don’t attempt to pass through water – turn around, don’t drown.
  6. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are now being sent directly to many cell phones on participating wireless carriers’ networks. WEAs sent by public safety officials such as the National Weather Service are designed to get your attention and to provide brief, critical instructions to warn about imminent threats like severe weather. Take the alert seriously and follow instructions. More information is available on WEA at
  7. Tropical Storms have the potential for tornado formation. If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in the center of a small interior room (closet, interior hallway) on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  8. As the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season to impact the Gulf Coast, Tropical Storm Bill serves as a reminder for residents in areas prone to tropical storms and hurricanes to refresh their emergency kits and review family plans. If you do not have an emergency kit or family plan, or to learn about steps you can take now to prepare your family for severe weather, visit
  9. Get to know the terms that are used to identify severe weather and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued.

Tropical Storm

  • A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 39 MPH or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 39 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less.


  • A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding.
  • A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding.
  • A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.


  • A Tornado Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are possible.
  • A Tornado Warning means thunderstorms with a tornado is imminent, take shelter immediately.

Important Safety Reminders

1. If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.
a) Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.

2. Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home’s electrical system – they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.

3. Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.

Business Preparedness

1. Businesses of all sizes should prepare for all hazards including severe weather to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations.

2. Review and update your business continuity plan and ensure your workforce knows what to do in the event of severe weather. Resources are available on web sites such as and the Small Business Administration,, including exercises and preparedness tips.

3. Encourage your employees to update their family emergency plan to stay connected with during severe weather while at; work and develop alternate methods of communication. Also, download the commuter emergency plan to identify evacuation routes while at work, school, or home.

4. Additional resources:

Ready Business:
Commuter emergency plan:
Small Business Administration disaster planning:
Disaster Reporter App:

To learn more about what to do before, during and after severe weather, visit

Make an Emergency Kit

  1. Assemble your kit in a water tight container that you can easily move when filled. Use two containers if one container is too large or heavy.
  2. Store your kit in a place that is readily accessible. Some people find it a good idea to keep a smaller kit in the car.
  3. Include first aid supplies, such as bandages, antiseptic solution, antibiotic cream, and common medication.
  4. Stash cash in your emergency kit. Banks and ATMs are likely to close during an emergency.
  5. Place a battery-operated flashlight and radio in your kit, along with plenty of batteries. Check the batteries every year to make sure they are fresh.
  6. Don’t forget to include copies of important personal and financial documents, such as deeds, insurance policies, birth certificates and photo identification.
  7. Make sure that you have enough water and dry or canned food to last each person in your family for three days. You will need one gallon of water per person per day.
  8. Place prescription medications, medical devices, eyeglasses, and special supplies needed for children, the elderly or pets.
  9. Pack items you will need if you have you have to stay away from home overnight, such as blankets and a change of clothes.
  10. Include plenty of toilet paper, soap and other hygiene items.
  11. Take a list of phone numbers and addresses for friends, family and business including your bank and insurance company.
  12. Include games, books, and toys to help you and your family relieve stress of an emergency situation.

Hacer una Caja de Emergencia

  1. Arregle su caja en un recipiente repelente al agua con facilidad de moverse aún cuando esté llena. Use dos cajas si una esta muy pesada.
  2. Mantenga su caja en un lugar rápidamente accesible. Algunas personas creen conveniente mantener una caja parecida pero pequeña en el coche.
  3. Incluya medicinas comunes, vendas, soluciones antisépticas, y cremas antibióticas.
  4. Tenga dinero en su caja de emergencias. Es muy probable que los bancos y cajeros electrónicos cierren en caso de emergencias.
  5. Tenga una linterna (foco de mano) de batería y un radio en su caja, junto con suficientes baterías. Revise las baterías cada año y asegúrese que funcionen.
  6. No olvide incluir copias de documentos personales o financieros que sean importantes, como títulos, pólizas de seguros, certificados de nacimiento, e identificación con foto.
  7. Incluya suficiente agua y comida enlatada para cada persona en su familia, suficiente para tres días. Se necesita un galón de agua por persona por cada día.
  8. Ponga medicinas recetadas, aparatos médicos, lentes y necesidades especiales para los niños, ancianos, o animales.
  9. Empaque cosas que necesitará si tiene que estar fuera de su casa por varios días, como colchas o unos cambios de ropa. Incluye papel del baño, jabón, y otros artículos higiénicos.
  10. Lleve una lista de teléfonos y direcciones de sus familiares, amigos y negocios incluyendo su banco, y compañía de seguros.
  11. Incluya juegos, libros, y juguetes para ayudar a su familia sentir menos estrés.

After the Disaster: Replacing Lost or Damaged Documents

Disasters such as floods and tornadoes commonly result in the loss of important documents, but Texans who lost official and important papers have ways to replace them:

SNAP Card (Food Stamps):
Phone: 800-777-7328

Green Cards:
Phone: 800-375-5283

State of Texas Birth and death certificates:
Phone: 888-963-7111

Texas Driver License:
Phone: 512-424-2600

Bank Checks, ATM/Debit Cards, or Safe Deposit Boxes:
Phone: 877-275-3342

Credit Cards: Contact the issuing institution.

American Express: 800-992-3404
Discover: 800-347-2683
Master Card: 800-622-7747
Visa: 800-847-2911

Credit Reports: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion
Phone: 877-322-8228

Social Security Card:
Phone: 800-772-1213

Medicare Cards:
Phone: 800-772-1213

Phone: TTY 888-874-7793 or 1-877-487-2778

U.S. Savings Bonds:
Phone: 800-722-2678 or 800-553-2663

Tax Returns:
Phone: 800-829-1040

Military Records:
Phone: 866-272-6272

Vehicle Titles:
Phone: 888-368-4689

Insurance Documents:
Phone: Check with your own insurance agent

Real Estate and Property Records (Mortgage Documents, Deeds, etc.):
Phone: Contact your own agent

Medical and Prescription Records:
Call your own doctor; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

Replace a Texas Marriage Record or Certificate:
Website: General
Website: Issuing Clerk of Court

Proof of Address/Residency:

National Archives Records:
Website: General
Website: Saving family records

NOTE: FEMA does not endorse any specific products or services. Information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency

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