Learn what to do before, during and after severe weather in Houston.

Before a Storm

Ready yourself for the worst-case scenario. Prepare to live with no electricity or natural gas services for as long as two weeks.

HurricaneWind SpeedEstimated Outage
Category 1winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)7 to 10 days
Category 2winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)2 to 3 weeks
Category 3winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)3 to 5 weeks
Category 4winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)4 to 6 weeks
Category 5winds 156 mph and up (135 + kt)6 to 8 weeks

Use these pre-hurricane checklists to get ready.

Emergency Supply Checklist

  • Candles & matches
  • Water (one gallon/day for each person, for at least three days)
  • Non-perishable food items (three-day supply) & a manual can opener
  • First aid supplies & prescription medications
  • Protective clothing, rain gear & sturdy shoes
  • Sterno, charcoal & lighter fluid
  • Flashlight, battery-operated radio & two-week supply of batteries
  • Hammer, nails, masking tape, plywood & plastic (for quick repairs)
  • Dust masks to help filter contaminated air
  • Cash (ATMs may not work)
  • Cellphone with chargers & supplemental batteries

Things To Do

  • Locate the safest room/area for use during the storm
  • Put your household’s 3-day supply of water in an accessible place
  • Bring your pets inside​
  • Clear your yard of unsecured objects
  • Board windows (to reduce the risk of broken glass)
  • Keep your car fueled and trip-ready
  • Have a map on hand
  • If you anticipate flooding, turn off your main electrical circuit breaker
  • Leave home if you are advised to evacuate
  • Take insurance policies & a valid ID showing your home address
  • Monitor weather reports for updates

Do not turn off natural gas at the meter! It can disrupt pressure levels and allow water to infiltrate pipes during flooding.

  • Sign up for CenterPoint Energy’s free Power Alert Service to receive personalized alerts by phone, email, and/or text when your power goes out with an estimated time of restoration and confirmation when power has been restored.

During a Storm

  • Stay in a small, interior room that has strong structural support.
  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors.

Caution: The eye of a hurricane — the calm center of the storm — tricks many people. Remain in your interior room until you are completely sure the storm has ended.

After a Storm

Tips to stay safe after a major storm in Houston:

Check your power status with our Electric Outage Center (see video “How to use Outage Tracker During a Major Storm or Hurricane”). For free, automatic outage notifications via text, email or phone call, enroll in Power Alert Service. In the days following a storm, please use the above resources to get outage updates rather than calling CenterPoint Energy. Our call center team is extremely busy with emergency calls. Thank you!

Downed power lines can cause fatal injuries to those who get too close. Stay away! Also, understand that anything contacting or near a line, like puddles, tree limbs or vehicles, can contain a deadly electrical current. Learn more safety about downed lines after a storm.

Flooding can damage electrical systems and carry electricity. Did flood water rise above electrical outlets in your home? Do not try to restore power, or turn on the main circuit breaker, without first consulting a licensed electrician. If flooding in your home, yard or neighborhood is an issue, visit flood safety tips.

Generators are a great way to maintain power after a storm, but they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if they are used indoors – even in your garage! Read the portable generator safety guidelines.

Natural gas leaks can be caused by severe storms. If you smell natural gas inside your home, leave immediately on foot! Once you’ve reached a safe place, you may call 911. Learn more about what to do if you smell gas.

Hurricane Recovery Resources

This list of resources might help y​ou following a hurricane in the Houston Metro area.

How is CenterPoint Energy Helping?

Our employees work around the clock when severe weather visits Houston. Learn how we restore power after a storm.

For power outage status or updates, visit our Electric Outage Center​.​​