How to Survive Natural Disasters in Katy

>>Print this article (PDF file)

Helpful Disaster Supplies You Need

Regardless if it’s a hurricane, tropical storm, or winter storm, here is a great list of helpful disaster preparation supplies (Amazon list) and hurricane supplies (Amazon list2). Most people will not have a budget to buy all of this at once, so try to buy one or two items every month or so, and within a year you will have a lot of supplies. Store all your emergency supplies in one area. Non-food items can be stored in a large plastic container, in case you need to evacuate and take them with you.

>>See also: Katy Preparedness Guide

Create an Emergency Binder and include this Basic Preparedness document. Also print out your email contacts (online address book) and evacuation route map and put in binder. Keep some emergency cash in the binder as well…in case the electric power goes out, ATMs don’t work, and credit cards can’t be used.


What To Do the Week Before a Disaster

For most disasters (hurricanes and winter storms) you will have advance notice. Essential items that you need to survive include: water, food, lighting, cooking gear, and gasoline. Keep in mind that many of these items will not be available AFTER the disaster, so plan ahead.

Before a hurricane, winter storm, or other natural disasters, you should:

 1.   Store as much water as you can. Water may go offline or have a “boil notice” after a disaster, so store water in jugs, such as a 5-gallon collapsible storage jug, and 2 gallon container with spigot (works great as an alternative faucet for washing hands). Bathtubs can be used as a last resort.

2.   Fill up your car with gasoline, whether or not you plan to evacuate. Gasoline is often in shortage after a disaster. If you have a gas generator, get gas for that too. Use Gas Buddy app to find gas after a disaster.

3.   Buy non-perishable supplies at a grocery store at least 3-days in advance. Don’t wait until last-minute when shelves will be empty. Perishable items are not recommended since they will spoil if you lose power for an extended period (and refrigerator doesn’t work). Buy enough to last at least 1-week.

    Other Helpful Shopping Lists:


4.   Make sure you have enough prescription medicines on hand.

5.   Charge up all phones and devices. If you have battery backups, or chargeable radio/lanterns, then charge those too.

6.   Familiarize yourself with all evacuation routes and shelters.

7.   Wash clothes—you may not be able to do so after the storm.

8.   Shower and wash hair—you may not be able to do so after the storm.

9.   Download the Gas Buddy and Waze apps.

10.   Sign up for Nextdoor in your neighborhood and all neighborhood Facebook groups. During Hurricane Harvey, social media had information up to 12 hours ahead of the county’s emergency management system.

11.   Freeze plastic bags of water to use for ice after storm.

12.   Sign up for emergency alerts at city, county, and MUD websites.

>>See Katy Road Conditions Map or Houston TranStar


How to Prep Home for Hurricanes

The following list will help you prepare for a hurricane:

1.    Get flood insurance by May 1…it takes 30 days to go in effect and hurricane season begins in June.

2.   Purchase Hurricane Supplies in addition to other emergency supplies. The supplies may be on short supply after the disaster.

3.   Know how to turn off the electricity, gas, and water for your home.

4.   Print a list of local emergency shelters.

5.   Put all outdoor lawn furniture, potted plants, and items that may go airborne in high winds, in the garage.

6.   Cover windows with plywood, if possible.

7.   Unplug small appliances and propane tanks (gas grills).

8.   Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing tags, in case they get lost.

9.   Take detailed photos/videos of home and contents (internal and external) for insurance records.

10.   You may want sand bags to seal doorways.

11.   In an emergency, you can store documents and valuables in a dishwasher (which is waterproof when fully closed).

12.   Move valuables upstairs or stack furniture on risers. Get items off the floor if flooding is expected.

13.   Prepare a location under the stairs or inside an interior closet as a safety room during high winds, if you can’t evacuate.

14.   You may need cleanup supplies: heavy duty garbage bags, ax/chainsaw, broom, mop, bleach (which doesn’t kill mold on porous surfaces, as commonly believed), heavy duty gloves, and more (see list).


How to Prep Home for Hard Freezes and Winter Storms

The following list will help you prepare for a hard freeze or winter storm:

1.  Do not leave pets outside during a freeze; 40 degrees or below is dangerous for most mammals.

2.  Cover delicate outdoor plants with bed sheets or fabric (better than plastic) and bring potted plants inside.

3.  Disconnect water hoses from outside faucets and cover all faucets with insulators (cheap, easy to use, and available at Home Depot).

4.  Winterize sprinkler system, it’s very easy (see video).

5.  Insulate all outside, exposed pipes. 

6.  Make sure you know how to turn off the “water main” in case a pipe bursts.

7.  Drip water (size of angel hair pasta) at faucets at night, especially for kitchen and bathroom sinks that are on an exterior wall. Open the cabinet doors so warm air can get to pipes. If temperatures will be below freezing for more than 6 hrs then shut off water at the main, and open faucets in bathrooms and kitchen to drain lines. Leave faucets open until you open the water main again (when temperature gets above freezing).

8.  If you have a swimming pool, make sure you set the pump to run during the freezing temperatures…usually from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. You want to keep that water flowing! If temperatures will be below freezing for more than 6 hours, then you may want to winterize your pool (videos listed below).

9.  If heater goes out due to power loss, “seal” off one room in your house that is near an alternative heat source (fireplace or gas stove in kitchen). Use thumbtacks to hang blankets over doors and hallway entryways to keep cold air out and warm air inside. Keep all family members in one room to retain body heat in one place. Close doors to all other rooms in the house. If you will be using a fireplace*, make sure you have firewood or gel fuel on hand, but always monitor all open flame fires. If using a gas stove in a kitchen, then make sure you have a lighter. Don’t sleep with unattended open-flame fire: fires are silent killers. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in the room. Dress in warm layers and drink warm tea.

*NOTE: Make sure you have your chimney cleaned at least every 3 years…more often if you frequently use your fireplace. Creosote build-up and other issues can cause dangerous house fires (read more). Be safe!

Helpful Videos 

Learn how to turn off water main, winterize sprinklers and pool, and more. Check out the videos on my playlist here:

Emergency Video Playlist


If You Need Emergency Restoration or Plumbing

More checklists: Primal Survivor Website

Print this article (PDF file)

Buying & Selling Real Estate Is a Huge Investment
Don’t You Deserve a Five Star Real Estate Agent?

Sheila Cox

Sheila Cox Realtor
Author of…so you know that I know this area! Winner of Five Star award every year since 2010.


Real estate agents don’t “just” sell houses; we sell a SERVICE to effectively guide home buyers and sellers through the entire real estate transaction, which usually takes several months. We are more like real estate consultants than we are salespeople. That’s probably why 86 percent of all home buyers and sellers choose to hire a real estate agent when buying or selling a home!

Buying or selling a home is not like buying or selling a TV, a computer, or a car. You can’t buy/sell a home on the Internet with a couple of clicks. There are MANY legal aspects, deadlines, and requirements that most people are not trained to handle. What’s more…mistakes along the way can cost you thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The financial risk is much greater than just about anything else you may buy.

That’s why you need your own dedicated, experienced real estate agent
looking out for YOUR best interests.

Please read the list of my value-added services for home buyers

FREE GUIDES & REPORTS by Sheila Cox, Five Star Realtor

Click Image Below to Download a Guide or Report

katy real estate guide
Katy Relocation Guide
katy market report
Katy Market Report
katy flood report
Katy Flood Report
Katy Schools Report


View Helpful Videos on Sheila’s YouTube Channel

Sheila Cox YouTube Channel

Why You Should Hire Sheila Cox As Your Agent

sheila cox five star realtor5Integrity—I promise to give you candid opinions on all homes and areas so you can make the best decisions. I won’t ignore potential defects that can cost you money, or effect your resale value, in the future…I point them out to you! My job is to protect you, as much as possible, from defective homes while helping you make a sound financial investment. You will get more REAL info from me regarding homes/neighborhoods than you ever had before! (Read client testimonials)

Local Area Expertise—This isn’t just my business…it’s where I work and live (for 20+ years) so I really know the area. I will help you narrow your options and find the best neighborhood for you based on your specifications. For long-term resale value, the neighborhood you choose is just as important as the home you buy. (Download my Ultimate Katy Guide)

Great Pricing Data—I will give you the most in-depth data you have ever seen…to help you make the wisest decisions. This includes a professional CMA when you are ready to purchase a specific home…so you don’t pay too much. You can’t get this level of pricing information anywhere else. (Also see Pricing a Home Correctly)

Premium Customized Home Searches—Yes, you can search on your own, but no other home search available can filter down to the school level…and filter out the subdivisions that may be known to flood. Plus my search includes “Coming Soon” homes not listed on other  websites. (Request a Premium Customized Home Search)

Video Home Tours—If you or your spouse lives out of the state or country, then you will enjoy my detailed video home tours. I have sold multiple homes to out-of-area clients “site unseen” by providing High Definition video walkthroughs of potential homes. My videos show front and back yards, closets, pantries, laundry rooms, and the garage…as well as the entire home. This gives you a complete picture of the house (unlike those silly Matterports). I also point out any potential defects or deferred maintenance that I see. (view sample video walkthrough)

Easier Process—Moving your family (and possibly changing jobs) is stressful enough. I’m your transaction manager and will guide you, step-by-step, through the process so you never miss an important deadline. I assist with inspections, repair negotiations, home warranties, HOA compliance inspections, hazard insurance, surveys, appraisals, title commitment, home warranties, title commitment, and more. (Get Details of My Value-Added Services)

Client Reviews of Sheila

Connect With Sheila