Am I at risk from a hurricane?
Click here to view the map that shows the areas of risk from hurricane winds and storm surge, the massive amount of water pushed forward by hurricane winds. There are five risk areas each shown in a different color and each corresponding to one of the five categories of hurricane strength. The higher the category number, the farther inland the surge and high winds will travel and the more risk areas will be affected.
How will I know if I should evacuate?
Your local officials will tell you if you should evacuate, and when to leave. Evacuations must begin many hours before the storm arrives, often when the sun is shining and skies are clear. That's the only way to get everyone out before winds and flooding make roads unsafe or impassable. During a hurricane watch, stay tuned to your local Emergency Alert System (EAS) stations - KLVI 560 AM or tune to NOAA Weather Radio on the high-band FM frequency 162.475 megahertz (MHz) in Jasper, Jefferson, Hardin, Orange, and Newton counties, or 162.40 MHz in Chambers County. Be prepared to evacuate before you receive a warning, follow instructions, and leave quickly. Do not delay.
How should I prepare for an evacuation?
Develop an evacuation plan for your family that includes where you will go, what vehicles you will take and the routes you will use to get there. Click here for tips on securing your home and putting together a disaster supplies kit to take with you.
What if I need help to evacuate?
Arrange beforehand with friends or family to help evacuate. If you have no help available or you have special needs, call the Emergency Management Office for your town or county now. They need to know where you live and what kind of help you need so they can be ready to provide aid when a storm threatens.
How long will it take for me to evacuate?
That depends on the size of the storm, the number of people who evacuate, when you begin your evacuation, and what route you choose. Generally speaking, the earlier you leave, the less time you are likely to spend in traffic. If you are traveling with people who may have difficulty with a lengthy trip (young children, older family members, or people with special needs), consider leaving before the general evacuation begins. If you are towing a boat or taking a recreational vehicle, leave ahead of the general evacuation.
Where should I go?
Travel inland, away from the coast. This map shows the major hurricane evacuation routes in red. Use the route nearest your home, but have another route in mind if the nearest one is congested. Listen to a radio station that provides traffic updates. Blue hurricane evacuation signs usually mark the evacuation routes. Call ahead if you plan to stay with family or friends or make reservations at a hotel or motel in advance. The radio will tell you where shelters are open along your evacuation route. Be forewarned that shelters may be crowded and "creature comforts" will be limited.
What about returning home?
Check news reports to make sure it is safe to return before you start back. Call the TxDOT road conditions hotline (1-800-452-9292) to ensure major roads back to your destination are open.