What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is an intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. Hurricanes often begin as tropical storms. Even though Austin is inland from the coast, where hurricanes are most likely to impact, hurricanes and tropical storms can still indirectly affect Austin, with events like flooding and high winds. (Tropical Storm Hermine, which hit Austin in September 2010, is one example.) Austin also serves as a sheltering location for residents of Galveston who may need to evacuate.  

To Prepare for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Follow the four pillars of preparedness

  • Make a Plan 

  • Build a Kit

  • Know Your Neighbors 

  • Stay Informed 

In addition, follow safety and preparedness tips that apply for high winds and flooding: 

  • Secure any loose outdoor items, such as furniture or tools. 

  • Trim tree branches that may fall and hit power lines or your or your neighbors' house.  

  • Identify an interior room of your house, such as a bathroom, where you can take shelter during high winds. 

  • Know how to turn off gas, electric, and/or water utilities if you need to do so. 

  • When it’s safe to do so, be ready to check your property and/or vehicle for any damage. If you see any damage, take photos for insurance purposes. Be aware of potential scams looking to take advantage of damage from the storm. Work with your insurance representative to find reputable businesses for any needed repairs.