This came from Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis. If you know someone in the path of Ike you might want to pass it along. Preparing for Hurricane Ike
LISTEN to local emergency officials, and follow their instructions. Listen to local TV and radio.
HAVE A PLAN of action for any emergency. If you must relocate, have a predetermined destination, route and alternate route -- whether out of the area or to the nearest shelter.
If you take shelter in your own home, find an interior room nearest the center of the home with no windows. Bathrooms are usually safest because the plumbing strengthens the walls. Use plywood and hurricane clips (plylocks) to safeguard your home from high winds.
Put your yard furniture and anything else that could turn into a missile into your garage or storage. Tie things down if needed.
Find out where the nearest shelter is before you need to go there. If you feel unsafe in your home, go to the shelter early.
DO NOT drive and DO NOT go outside if you can avoid it.
Make sure you have your pets secured indoors.
If you haven't purchased a good LED flashlight, do it. They are more than ten times more efficient than a regular flashlight and the bulbs last hundreds of times longer.
You should have water on hand for at least 3-7 days (one gallon per person per day) with the ability to filter and chemically treat more water after that.
Clean the bathtub with bleach and dishwashing soap thoroughly and rinse well. Then fill with water before a storm or disaster. You can drink the water (preferably still with boiling or chemical treatment) and or use it to wash dishes in a bucket or flush the toilet by pouring it into the tank.
Everyone should have a gallon or two of regular (non scented) household bleach on hand. You can use this to make water safe to drink (16 drops per gallon of water and let sit for 30 minutes) Here's the formula htt p://www.rense.com/general2/watrpur.htm
Water in store bought plastic jugs will last for years if kept in the dark. Water in cans will last for years anywhere.
Food that doesn't need cooking is the best and safest bet. You should have non-perishable food on hand for at least two weeks.
Power bars keep a long, long time and are handy in an emergency to keep you going.
If you have pets, don't forget to stock up for them, too.
Cell phones and cordless phones are very unreliable in emergencies. Land lines are more robust.
A small battery powered radio will be great company. Newer models are also available that do not need batteries.
To learn more about hurricane preparedness and your community's vulnerability to these disasters, visit the National Hurricane Center.
Due to changes in the track of Hurricane Ike and the expected storm surge of up to 15 ft. in some areas, as of this time, Harris County and City of Houston officials are calling for the evacuation of citizens residing in Zones A & B of the evacuation plan.
A mandatory evacuation has been called for noon today for residents living in zip codes 77586 (Zone A), 77058, 77059, 77062, 77520, 77546, 77571, 77598 (Zone B).
Harris County will begin evacuating citizens with special needs that registered with 2-1- 1 as soon as possible. Those not registered should call 3-1-1 immediately if they need help evacuating.
The routes identified for emergency evacuation by the state are Interstate 10 West to San Antonio, Interstate 45 North to Dallas, Interstate 59 North to Nacogdoches and Highway 290 West to Austin or Waco. The Texas Department of Public Safety will stage contraflow in coordination with local plans when needed. Refueling stations will be placed along the routes.
In order to minimize traffic of highways, emergency officials recommend that major employees allow non-essential personnel to not report to work on Friday. However, service providers such as grocery stores, restaurants and service stations are encouraged to remain open to serve the public.
Those who have registered already with the state's 2-1-1 system can expect to be picked up and transported to one of the transportation staging areas for evacuation.
Any other special needs persons who need help evacuating need to call 3-1-1.