Texas weather is unpredictable and may quickly become very unstable during certain times of the year. The good news is that weather can often be predicted. The bad news? Despite advance warning, weather-related deaths still occur each year. The first step to being prepared is realizing that severe weather can happen at any time – and it can happen to you.
Summer in Texas is in a league by itself! Extreme heat can push your body beyond its limits. Older adults, young children, and those who are sick or overweight are most likely to suffer when the mercury rises.
At-Home Safety Tips
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic and caffeine-free fluids.
- Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate, if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cool air in.
- Get out of areas subject to flooding such as dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc.
- Avoid already flooded and high-velocity flow areas. Never attempt to cross a flooded stream.
- Never drive through flooded roadways.
- If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Be cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Don’t camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
- If you can hear thunder, you're close enough to be struck by lightning – find safe shelter immediately.
- Move to a sturdy building and stay away from the windows (don't take shelter in a shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible vehicle).
- If a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hardtop vehicle, keep the windows up, and do not touch metal.
- Get out of boats and away from water.
- Unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone except in an emergency.
- Designate a shelter area in your home or place of business and go there during severe weather.
- If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Lower-level interior bathrooms provide the best protection if no basement is available, because the plumbing helps brace the walls.
- Stay away from windows.
- Don’t try to outrun a tornado in your car – leave your vehicle immediately and seek shelter in a sturdy building.
- Mobile homes should always be abandoned during severe weather. If there's no shelter available, find the most low-lying area (ditch, ravine, etc.). Lie flat on your stomach and cover your head with your hands.
- Tornadoes occasionally develop so rapidly that advance warning is impossible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado and watch for flying debris.