Hurricane Information – Evacuation Tips for the City of Aransas Pass

Hurricane Information,  Evacuation Tips for the City of Aransas Pass (Emergency Management Coordinator, Bill Haines) —  Hurricanes can cause massive damage and loss of life. From the 1900 storm that devastated Galveston Island, killing more than 6,000 people, to Hurricane Alicia in 1983, Texas has weathered 10 of the 30 worst hurricanes in United States history. Since then, thousands of new residents have moved into high-risk areas with little or no experience of preparing for or surviving storms of such magnitude. Many other Texans have acquired a false sense of security believing that, “It won’t happen to me.” Don’t be a casualty of our next hurricane. Plan ahead. The following information will help.

Where can I go for hurricane information?
We are currently developing an information gateway at this website. It will become active whenever there is the threat of a hurricane to our city. For more hurricane information, you can visit the following websites:

Am I at risk from a hurricane?
Look at this color-coded map. It shows the areas at risk from winds and storm surges associated with hurricanes. There are five of these risk areas, each shown in a different color and each corresponding to one of the five categories of hurricanes on the Saffir/Simpson Scale. The stronger the storm, the greater the inland impact will be and the more risk areas affected.

How will I know when to evacuate?
Your local officials will tell you. During a “hurricane watch”, listen to your radio or television constantly. Emergency officials can interrupt routine broadcasts to give special weather updates, warning messages, and evacuation information. For 24-hour weather broadcasts from the National Weather Service, tune to NOAA Weather Radio on the high-band FM frequency 162.55 megahertz (MHz) that broadcasts from Corpus Christi.

What can I do to prepare for a storm? 
While there are no sure ways to predict when and where a hurricane will come ashore in Texas, both cities and counties have emergency managers whose job is to prepare the community and its citizens for these storms and other disasters. For answers to specific questions you may have concerning hurricanes and preparing for them, contact your local Emergency Management Office. In addition, read the information on this page and share it with friends and family. Keep the brochure in a prominent location in your house. When a hurricane threatens, it will help you survive the storm.

How should I prepare for an evacuation?
Prepare a disaster supplies kit and pack it in your vehicle. Make sure your car is in good repair and full of gas. Secure your home: turn off the gas, water, and electricity; board up the windows and draw drapes across them; brace garage doors; bring in or secure any loose objects in the yard; and lock all windows and door. If you have a boat, secure it on a trailer near your house and fill it with water. Make arrangements for pets before you leave; most public shelters, and many hotels and motels do not allow them. Leave a note telling where you plan to go. Designate an out-of-area contact that family and friends can call to get information on your whereabouts. Finally, designate a meeting point for your family should you get separated.

What if I have small pets? 
Countless times people have been told to leave their homes for a “short time”, only to find that they cannot return for days or weeks. Even disasters like gas leaks and minor flooding can keep you from tending to your animals for extended periods of time. To prevent situations such as these, if possible, take your pets with you. It is best to be overly cautious during a disaster warning. Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly is the best way to keep you and your family, including your animals, out of danger. Please read this brochure for more information.

What if I need help to evacuate?
Arrange beforehand with friends or family to help you evacuate. If you have no one to turn to or you have special needs, get in touch with your local officials now. They need to know who you are, where you live, and what kind of help you need so they can be ready to provide aid when a storm threatens.

How long will it take to evacuate?
That depends on the size of the storm and the number of people who evacuate. The chart provided will give you an idea, but keep in mind the times shown are only estimates. They assume that all evacuation routes are open and only show the time needed to move all traffic inland just beyond the threatened risk areas. It will take longer to reach a shelter location or your final destination. Also, keep in mind, if the chart shows 10 hours, officials won’t wait until the storm is 10 hours from landfall to begin an evacuation. Remember, the goal is to get everyone out of the threatened area before evacuation routes become impassable or unsafe due to flooding or high winds. This will happen when the storm is still many hours away from landfall. So, don’t be surprised if there are no clouds and the sun is shining when local officials tell you to evacuate. Follow their instructions; your health and safety are their main concern.

Where should I go?
Inland, away from the coast. Use the evacuation routes shown on the map. Most of these roads are marked with blue hurricane evacuation signs. If you have friends or family at an inland location, arrange beforehand to stay with them. If you plan to stay in a hotel or motel, make reservations prior to departure to ensure you have a room. Cities and towns along the main evacuation routes may open public shelters, but these will be crowded and the “creature comforts” limited. If you need to use a public shelter, listen to your radio as you are evacuating to find out where shelters are open.

Hurricane Survival Tips

What to do When Officials Recommend an Evacuation

  • Coordinate your departure with the people who will be traveling with you.
  • Notify an out-of-area person of your evacuation plans.
  • Secure your home.
  • Pack your disaster supplies kit into your vehicle. Double check your evacuation route and leave.

Who Should Plan to Leave Early?

  • Persons living on the coast, on barrier islands, or in low-lying or flood-prone areas.
  • Persons who live in manufactured housing.
  • Persons with special needs – including health or mobility-related concerns

Secure Your Home

  • Turn off gas, water, and electricity.
  • Board up windows.
  • Draw drapes across windows.
  • Brace garage doors.
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and other loose objects;
  • Anchor those items you cannot bring inside.
  • Place boats on trailers near your home and fill boats with water.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Make arrangements for pets before leaving, because most shelters and many hotels and motels do not allow them.

Evacuation Tips

  • Keep your vehicle in good repair with a full tank of fuel.
  • Check on friends and neighbors who may have special needs.
  • Prepare your disaster supplies kit now and take it with you when you evacuate.
  • Secure your home quickly; evacuate when asked to do so.
  • Have an out-of-area point of contact whom family and friends can call to learn your evacuation plans.
  • Designate a meeting point for your family should you get separated.
  • If possible, have a CB radio or other form of communication to take with you. Use it only for emergencies.
  • Monitor local radio and television constantly for the latest news and information.

Your Disaster Supplies Checklist

 Can opener
 Three-day supply of non-perishable food
 Bedding or sleeping bags
 Fire extinguisher
 Bleach (without lemon or other additives)
 Mosquito repellent
 Extra prescription medicine or refill information
 Baby food, diapers and formula
 First aid kit
 Water (one gallon per person per day)
 Eating utensils
 Tarp, rope and duct tape
 Toilet paper
 Battery-operated radio
 Extra batteries
 Extra keys
 Extra eyeglasses or prescription info.
 Hearing aid or other special-need items
 Important papers including insurance
 Money, checks or credit cards
 Name, address and telephone number of out-of-area contact person.