- Tropical Disturbance: An area of disturbed weather in the tropics that has the potential of storm development.
- Tropical Depression: A closed low pressure circulation at the surface in the tropics with winds up to 39 mph.
- Tropical Storm: A closed low pressure circulation at the surface in the tropics with winds 39 to 73 mph.
- Hurricane: A closed low pressure circulation in the tropics with winds in excess of 74 mph.
- Small Craft Advisory: When issued in conjunction with possible hurricane conditions for this area, advised small craft operators to take precautions and not to venture into the open Gulf.
- Gale Warning: When winds of 38-55 mph are expected.
- Storm Warning: When winds of 55-74 mph are expected. Normally, not used in the Gulf or this area; usually hurricane warnings follow gale warnings.
- Hurricane Watch: Hurricane may threaten this area within 24 to 36 hours.
- Hurricane Warning: Hurricane force winds or high tides and seas are expected to strike this area within 24 hours.
Family evacuation plans should include answers to questions such as:
- Where are we going?
- How are we getting there? Are we taking public transit? Are we driving or are you evacuating family members and having to return to work?
- Have you provided your supervisor with contact phone numbers while you and/or your family are evacuated?
- What items do families need in case of evacuation?
- What are considerations for the family pet?
- When should families actually leave?
- Are there any predesignated evacuation routes, and is there a map for evacuees?
- Are all family vehicles up to date on maintenance?
- Are the vehicles fueled?
- Do family members have enough medication to last at least two weeks?
- Should family members have cash and/or credit cards?
- How much clothing should a family pack?
- Should families pack all important documents including birth certificates, medical records, insurance information, photos, etc.?
- Do families need plans to secure your home, including plywood on windows, moving boats and additional vehicles to safety, moving patio furniture, BBQ grills, securing trampolines, etc.?
Securing your home and any outside, mobile items will prevent damage to your property, as well as others, during high wind or flooding events.
- Should families have photos and/or videos of their home, inside and out, for insurance purposes?
- Should families have serial numbers of all appliances and electronics logged?
Remember, plan ahead. If you and/or your family plan to stay at home during an evacuation order, keep in mind that you need to be capable of sustaining yourself and your loved ones for 5 – 7 days. If a disastrous storm strikes our area, any outside assistance in the form of food, drink and medical services may not arrive for days. The entire area could be without water and sewer services as well as electricity for an extended period of time. You and your family should plan on stocking the following:
- Nonperishable foods
- Water or hydrating drinks, such as Gatorade, or Powerade.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- First aid kits
- Hygiene products
- Battery operated radios
Don’t wait to make plans. Sit with your family and discuss all emergency plans, because having plans in place before a disaster strikes makes it easier on you and family members. It is in your family's best interest to plan on leaving town should an evacuation be ordered. If you are a critical employee who may be required to stay, make sure that your plans are in order and carried out before you have to report to duty.
www.setinfo.org is a website designed to keep Southeast Texans informed should a disaster, such as a hurricane, occur. All press releases from Orange, Hardin and Jefferson County agencies are posted to the City of Port Arthur's Official website. If you or your loved ones are evacuated, this site will keep you updated. The evacuation order, as well as the rescission order, will be posted.
- Continue listening to radio or TV to monitor weather conditions, intensity and expected landfall.
- If you live in a mobile home, check tie-downs and leave immediately for a safer place. Mobile homes are not safe in hurricane-force winds.
- Prepare for high winds: Brace your garage door, lower antennas, and be prepared to make repairs.
- Anchor outside objects: Garbage cans, awnings, loose garden tools, toys and other loose objects can become deadly missiles. Anchor them securely or move them indoors.
- Protect windows and other glass: Board up or shutter windows securely. Draw drapes across windows and doors to protect against flying glass if shattering does occur. DO NOT TAPE WINDOWS. It increases the chances for larger, more dangerous pieces of flying glass.
- Move boats on trailers close to a solid structure: Fill boats with water to weigh them down. Lash poles securely to trailer and use tie-downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house.
- Check mooring lines of boats in water …THEN LEAVE THEM.
- Store valuables and personal papers: Put irreplaceable documents in waterproof containers and store in highest possible spot if you are unable to take them with you in the event of an evacuation.
- Store drinking water in clean containers.
- Plan a flood-free evacuation route, and know where to go.
- If ordered to evacuate, OBEY IMMEDIATELY! Take your Hurricane Evacuation Kit. Let friends and neighbors know where you are going.
- Never re-enter evacuated areas until local officials have issued an all-clear.
If you are evacuated, plan your return when it is recommended or authorized by local authorities.
- Watch out for loose or dangling power lines, and report them immediately to proper authorities. Many lives are lost through electrocution.
- Walk or drive cautiously.
- Debris-filled streets are dangerous.
- Snakes and poisonous insects may be a hazard.
- Washouts may weaken road and bridge structures which could collapse under vehicle weight.
- Guard against spoiled food.
- Food may spoil if refrigerator power is off more than a few hours.
- Freezers will keep food several days if doors are not opened after power failure, but do not refreeze food once it begins to thaw.
- Use your emergency supply, or boil water before drinking, until official word is given that the water is safe to consume.
- Report broken sewer or water mains to proper authorities.
- Take extra precautions to prevent fire. Lowered water pressure in city mains and the interruption of other services may make fire fighting extremely difficult after a hurricane.