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What to do before, during and after the storm

Do you know how to prepare for storms in southeast Texas?

Severe weather is expected to move through the Houston area Friday night.

There are things you can do now to prepare before storms arrive.

What to do now

1. Make a plan. Talk with your family or coworkers about where you will go during extreme weather. Know the safest place in your home or office.

2. Prepare an emergency supply kit. The kit should have a number of items, including water (a gallon per person per day), non perishable food, a flashlight with extra batteries, prescriptions, first aid supplies, a charger and backup battery.

3. Charge your phone(s) and fill up your gas tank.

4. Put away any items in your yard or on your patio that could blow away.

5. Download the KHOU news app and sign up for automated severe weather alerts so you know when to take cover.

6. Check your insurance policies. The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) recommends you ensure your auto, homeowners or renters, flood and wind policies are active, as they can be essential for storm recovery.

On the road?

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth released the following tips if you find yourself on the road during a storm: 

1. Never stop under bridges or overpass to protect yourself from hail. 

2. Bridges give no protection from wind-driven hail. 

3. Your parked car will block traffic and may cause several car accidents. 

4. Seek shelter in a strong, sturdy building if possible. 

What to know during a storm: Watch vs. Warning

A WATCH means a storm is being monitored. 

Depending on the watch issued, a watch is posted when weather conditions are favorable for the development for either severe thunderstorms, tornadoes or flash flooding. 

Tornado Watches and Severe Thunderstorm Watches are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Predication Center in Norman, Oklahoma, and usually for a time period of several hours. 

Flood Watches are issued by local National Weather Service offices, and for periods of time ranging from hours to days.

When a watch is issued for your area, it's important to come up with a plan of action. Where would you go if a warning is issued?

When a WARNING is issued, it's time to put your plan into action. 

When a Tornado Warning is posted, it's either been spotted or detected on radar by meteorologists. 

When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued, 1-inch size hail and/or 58 mph+ wind gusts have been reported or detected by radar. 

When a Flash Flood Warning is issued, flash flooding is occurring now or will soon.

If your area is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Warning, it is time to take shelter in a lower-level, interior room away from windows.

When a Flash Flood Warning is issued and your area is flooding or prone to flooding, it's time to seek higher ground.