Hurricane Preparedness

Common Terms
  • 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.

  1. Before a Hurricane Arrives
  2. When a Warning is Issued
  3. After the Hurricane

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?
Families should have a pre-planned destination before an emergency occurs.

  • Have you provided your supervisor with contact phone numbers while you and/or your family are evacuated?
It is important for your supervisor to have updated contact information.

  • What items do families need in case of evacuation?
Snacks, ice chest, medication, food, water, games, cell phone charger, GPS, etc.

  • What are considerations for the family pet?
Please keep in mind that if you and your family are evacuating to a shelter, most facilities that allow pets require that pets be placed in a pet carrier, have a leash or a harness, and have updated vaccination records. Families should also carry food and water for pets.

  • When should families actually leave?
To avoid heavy traffic during an evacuation, leaving prior to the call for a mandatory evacuation is always an option.

  • Are there any predesignated evacuation routes, and is there a map for evacuees?
Evacuees may view a map on the City's website under the Department of Emergency Management, or tune into any local TV and radio stations.             2019 Inland Evacuation Map

  • Are all family vehicles up to date on maintenance?
Make sure that your vehicle can make the trip.

  • Are the vehicles fueled?
The state of Texas will move fuel assets to the evacuation areas and then along the evacuation routes. During Hurricane season, drivers should always maintain at least a ½ tank of fuel. Many service stations will be closed, and the pumps will only accept debit or credit cards.

  • Do family members have enough medication to last at least two weeks?
Refill all prescription medications prior to leaving. If any medications require a doctor's order, call in advance; doctors may not be available by phone in the weeks following a hurricane.

  • Should family members have cash and/or credit cards?
Extra money (cash), or an available/emergency credit or debit card may be needed for unexpected expenses during an evacuation. Shared branching, offered at some credit unions, allows members to transact financial transactions at credit union offices throughout the United States: check with your financial institution.

  • How much clothing should a family pack?
Families should have clothes for at least a week's time. These items can be washed and worn again if evacuees are forced to stay displaced longer.

  • Should families pack all important documents including birth certificates, medical records, insurance information, photos, etc.?
All important documents should be placed into properly sealed containers and kept in one location to make it easier to grab and go in case an evacuation is ordered.

  • 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?
It is always advisable to have video documentation of the pre-damage condition of your home and possessions.

  • Should families have serial numbers of all appliances and electronics logged?
If damage or theft occurs, recording serial numbers and having photos of all appliances and electronics in your home is benficial in recovery after a storm event, theft, or other loss.

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
  • Fuel
  • Generators
  • Hygiene products
  • Batteries
  • Battery operated radios
  • Flashlights

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. 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.