Harris County Alerts

Hurricane Harvey Rapidly Strengthening, Residents Urged to Prepare

Aug 24, 2017 Back


Hurricane Harvey Rapidly Strengthening, Residents Urged to Prepare

What is the danger?
Harvey has formed into a Category 1 hurricane and continues heading southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico and along the upper Texas coast. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Harvey is forecast to be a strong Category 3 hurricane at landfall, impacting the Texas coast Friday night. Widespread rainfall amounts of 15 to 25 inches are expected over the entire weekend and into next week.

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains at Level 1 (Maximum Readiness). HCOHSEM will continue to monitor forecasts and weather developments along with the National Weather Service and the Harris County Flood Control District

What you need to do:

Based on the current forecast, HCOHSEM strongly encourages residents to monitor their local media outlets several times a day for weather updates, school closures and evacuation information. There are no evacuation orders for Harris County at this time. 

Now is the time to review your family’s emergency plan

Assemble a family emergency supplies kit and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice. It should include items such as: radio and flashlight with extra batteries, extra eye glasses, medications and prescriptions, special products for babies and the elderly, bottled water, non-perishable food, clothes, bedding and important documents sealed in waterproof containers. For a check list of what items you should have as part of your emergency essentials kit, click here.

Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone. Residents of Harris County and the surrounding region can do this through our Zip-Zone Evacuation Map. Enter your address and the map will immediately show you whether you are in a mandatory evacuation zone. There are no evacuation orders at this time.

Make sure to discuss your evacuation plans with your family, friends and relatives. Know contact information for your family members, friends and anyone else you may need to contact.

The Harris County Flood Control District offers the following safety tips: 

Make sure storm drains and culverts are clear from debris. Clogged drains and culverts can prevent water from traveling to the bayous and tributaries, causing street flooding, and possible house flooding, depending on the amount of rain we receive. 

  • Debris should NOT be discarded in areas bayous, streams and ditches. Debris should be put in trash bins and then brought inside into garages or backyards, away from drainage ditches and storm sewers. 
  • Winds can cause trees and branches to fall; trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • In areas that normally experience flooding, move vehicles to driveways or in parking garages as the storm approaches.
  • Secure patio furniture and any loose items that may be picked up by heavy winds.
  • Take video of all your belongings and important documents in case they become damaged and needed for insurance claims.
  • Never drive into high water. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Less than two feet of water can float and wash away a vehicle. Be especially cautious at underpasses and at night when water across roadways can be difficult to see. 
  • This flooding event is a reminder that all residents in this area should carry flood insurance. Contact your insurance agent for more information about purchasing flood insurance, or visit the National Flood Insurance Program at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program or call 1-888-379-9531. Please keep in mind that new insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect. 

The Flood Control District urges all residents to monitor rainfall and bayou water levels on its Harris County Flood Warning System website at www.harriscountyfws.org. It is important for Harris County residents to be aware of conditions near their workplaces, schools and homes. Stay tuned to messages from emergency officials-- distributed through the various media outlets. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @HCFCD for live updates. 

Where you can learn more:

Forecasts: National Weather Service Houston-Galveston
National Hurricane Center
Flood Safety: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Harris County Flood Control District: Flood Warning System

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