The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (OHSEM) advises residents along the Texas Gulf Coast to “be prepared” for the possibility of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and power outages if Hurricane Ike makes landfall in our area. OHSEM encourages residents to have an emergency supply kit, a family emergency plan and to be informed on the weather conditions by listening to what local authorities
are advising through the local media. Hurricanes often produce high winds, tornadoes, large amounts of rain and power outages that affect citizens for hours or even days after the initial
storm has passed, as seen with Hurricane Gustav. Therefore, it is important for residents to know what identifies a hurricane.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Scale Number(Category) Sustained Winds (MPH) Damage Storm Surge
1 74-95 Minimal: Unanchored mobile homes, vegetation and signs 4-5
2 96-110 Moderate: All mobile homes, roofs, small crafts, flooding
3 111-130 Extensive: Small buildings, low-lying roads cut off. 9-12
4 131-150 Extreme: Roofs destroyed, trees down, roads cut off, mobile
homes destroyed. Beach homes flooded. 13-18 feet
5 More than 150 Catastrophic: Most buildings destroyed. Vegetation
destroyed. Major roads cut off. Homes flooded Greater than 18 feet
It is also important for residents to know the difference between a WATCH
. Watch: Storm conditions are possible in the specified area, usually
within 36 hours. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or
television for information.
. Warning: Storm conditions are expected in the specified area,
usually within 24 hours. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Harris County residents can get information and preparedness tips on our Web
site at www.hcoem.org or at www.ready.gov.