What to do When Severe Weather Strikes
Before the Storm Arrives
Emergency Supply Checklist
- Candles and matches
- Bottled water, electrolyte drinks and a cooler
- First aid supplies and prescription medications
- Protective clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
- Sterno, charcoal and lighter fluid
- Non-perishable food items and a manual can opener
- Flashlight, battery-operated radio and a two-week supply of batteries
- Hammer, nails, masking tape, plywood and plastic for quick repairs
- Cash (ATMs may not be operating)
Things To Do
- Store enough drinking water to last several days
- Bring your pets inside
- Clear your yard of any unsecured objects
- Keep your car fueled and ready to go
- Have a map on hand
- Leave your home if you are advised to evacuate
- Monitor weather reports for updated information
- Take insurance policies and a valid ID that shows your home address
- Board windows to reduce the risk of broken glass
During the Storm
Stay in a small, interior room – away from windows and doors
If a hurricane hits while you are at home:
- Go to a small, interior room that has strong structural support.
- Stay away from windows and outside doors.
Stay indoors when the eye of the hurricane — the calm center of the storm — passes over: the winds will return, possibly with greater force.
After the Storm Passes
Report downed power lines to 713-207-2222 or 800-332-7143
- Leave the house only when it is absolutely safe to do so.
- Stay at least 10 feet away from low-hanging or fallen power lines. Contact with a live power line can kill or seriously injure you.
- Beware of snakes, insects or animals driven to higher ground by flooding.
- If you experienced flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power.
- If your electrical appliances and electronic equipment have been submerged in water:
- All the appliances and equipment need to dry thoroughly for at least one week.
- Have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on.
- If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.
- Check your weatherhead - in many post-storm restoration cases, the problem is with customer-owned electrical equipment, such as the weatherhead that connects the overhead power line or service drop owned by CenterPoint Energy to your home or business. Such problems will need to be repaired by an electrician before customers can receive service from CenterPoint Energy.
- If you evacuated your home and want to know if your home has power - please do not call CenterPoint Energy in the first few days following the storm as we are busy handling emergencies. Instead you can:
- Call your answering machine to see if it picks up
- Call your neighbors
- Monitor the news media
- Check CenterPoint Energy's Web site
- If you evacuated your home:
- Re-enter it with caution.
- Use a flashlight to look around
- Don't strike a match (there could be breaks in your gas line).
- Assess and photograph damage to your home and its contents.
- Notify your insurance agent of any losses incurred and where you can be reached.
- Make temporary repairs to correct any safety hazards or minimize further damage.
- Avoid driving. Roads should be left clear for emergency vehicles.
- Be patient. Cleaning up after a hurricane is a team effort involving many local, state and federal agencies.