**The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now offering assistance to Houston residents affected by Tropical Storm Imelda.**
Applications for FEMA Individual Assistance for Imelda recovery will be open until Feb. 28, 2021.
FEMA may provide Houston home owners, certain types of renters, and businesses with the following types of assistance:
Home/Primary Residence: FEMA provides assistance to individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of a presidentially-declared disaster. If you are a renter or homeowner you may qualify for assistance. By law, FEMA assistance cannot duplicate the assistance you receive from your insurance company, but you may receive assistance for items not covered by insurance. If your home was impacted by a major disaster, FEMA recommends that you apply for assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
NOTE: FEMA does not offer assistance for a secondary home. Federal guidelines only allows FEMA to provide housing assistance when your primary residence is impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster.
Business: FEMA does not offer assistance for small businesses impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster. However, FEMA partners with the Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers low interest loans for business damages. Learn more about the business loan application process: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
Other Needs Assistance: FEMA offers disaster assistance for some of your other disaster-caused expenses including, medical and dental, child care, funeral and burial, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and some clean-up items.
- Know Your Hurricane Risk?
- Hurricane Evacuation Zones
- Hurricane Evacuation Routes
- Have a Hurricane Kit
Hurricanes are strong storms that cause life and property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, hight winds and tornadoes.
Know the Difference:
Hurricane Watch — Hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours.
Review your hurricane plans, keep informed and be ready to act if a warning
Hurricane Warning — Hurricane conditions are expected within 36
hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to
do so by authorities.
Hurricane Safety Checklist
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane.
What should I do?
What supplies do I need?
What do I do after a hurricane?
|Listen to a NOAAWeather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).||Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day||Continue listening to a NOAAWeather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.|
|Check your disaster supplies and
replace or restock as needed.
|Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food||Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.|
|Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).||Extra clothing, hat, rain gear, Emergency blanket and sturdy shoes||If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.|
|Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.||Flashlight and Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAAWeather Radio, if possible)||Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.|
|Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the
coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
|Insect repellent and sunscreen||Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.|
|Turn off propane tanks and unplug
|First aid kit||Stay out of any building that has water around it.|
|Fill your car’s gas tank.||Medications (7-day supply) and medical
items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
|Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.|
|Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.||Multi-purpose tool, tools and supplies for securing your home||Use flashlights in the dark. DO NOT use candles.|
|Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.||Sanitation and personal hygiene items||Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.|
|Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be
careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
|Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth
certificates, insurance policies)
|Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.|
|Because standard homeowners
insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s
important to have protection from the
floods associated with hurricanes,
tropical storms, heavy rains and other
conditions that impact the U.S. For
more information on flood insurance,
please visit the National Flood
Insurance ProgramWeb site at
|Family and emergency contact information, cell phone with chargers and extra batteries||Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.|
|Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)||Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.|
|Extra cash||Use the telephone only for emergency calls.|
|Extra set of car keys and house keys, map(s) of the area|
|Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)|
Online Hurricane Resources
Local Preparedness Resources
- American Red Cross Greater Houston
- City of Houston Office of Emergency Management
- Houston-Galveston Area Council Hurricane Preparedness Resources
- Hurricane Preparedness Workshops
- Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
- Ready Houston - Regional Disaster Preparedness
- United Way of Greater Houston
General Preparedness Resources
- Centers for Disease Control
- Information from the federal government on health and diseases.
- FEMA Flood Information
- Includes helpful information on flooding and multiple resources.
- FEMA Información Sobre Inundaciones
- Información en español sobre inundaciónes.
- FEMA Region VI Contact Information
- Contact information for the Federal Emergency Management Agency region responsible for the Houston area.
- Find the right flood insurance policy for you
- Harris County Flood Control District
- Provides helpful information regarding flooding in Harris County.
- National Hurricane Center
- Find up-to-date information on storms forming in the Atlantic and Gulf
- National Weather Service
- Official weather warnings, observations and forecasts.
- Disaster preparedness information from the Department of Homeland Security.
- Rice University and Texas Medical Center Flood Alert System
- An integrated system utilizing radar, rain gage information, bayou stage data, and hydrologic modeling for the purpose of issuing flood warnings and forecasts for the Rice University/TMC Complex.
Related Health Topics
Check out these topics in MedlinePlus:
- Disaster Preparation and Recovery
- Coping with Disasters
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Poisoning can result from carbon monoxide entering homes when cooking grills or generators are used during power outages.
- Drinking Water
Water may not be safe for drinking after a disaster.
- First Aid
- Food Safety
Food safety is a concern during and after power outages.
Mold may be encountered during clean up of flooded buildings.