Preparing for Disasters

Prepare today by following a four-step preparedness process: make an emergency plan, have an emergency kit, be informed about disasters, and help members of your community prepare themselves.

Step #1: Make an Emergency Plan

The first step in preparing for disasters is to make a plan. Make a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency. Think about how you will communicate with each other, where you will meet up, and who you can leave messages with people who live outside of Texas if you can’t reach people locally.

Houston residents who might need additional help during a disaster can register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry. The registry lets people provide information to officials who will work to help them in a disaster. Call 2-1-1 or visit for more information.

The City of Houston Disaster Preparedness Guide is updated every year and helps Houstonians plan for emergencies. The guide is free and can be downloaded in six languages:

Step #2: Have an Emergency Supply Kit

After you make your plan, build a kit. people should have what they need for 5-7 days after a storm. Things peopole should have in their kits include: food, water, medications, and individual needs such as medical devices or pet supplies.

The safest way to buy disaster supplies is home delivery. Keep people safe when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call the pharmacy ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup if you can.

If you evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, like hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap, and two cloth face coverings for each person.

Step #3: Stay Informed

If you stay informed, you will know when disasters are going to happen. Know where to go to get updated information, including local television and radio, as well as official websites such as:

The City of Houston offers emergency alerts through the AlertHouston emergency notification system. People can receive emergency notifications via email, text message and through a mobile app.

Register for alerts today at

Step #4: Know your Neighbors

Your neighbors can be a great source of help after a disaster. Get to know all of your neighbors. Make sure you know neighbors who are not able to independently plan or prepare for a disaster. By knowing your neighbors before a disaster, your community will work better as a team when disasters happen.

When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.

For more information about helping your neighborhood get ready for hurricane season, visit