Plan for being evacuated for Harvey
August 27, 2017 10:24 PM   Subscribe

How do I optimally prepare my two story house for a mandatory flood evacuation due to Harvey, or to be stranded in the house if there's no open road?

Houston is emptying some reservoirs and is updating their list of mandatory evacuation areas in advance. I'm not too clear on what is happening, but we believe we have 24 hours to leave the house before it is likely to be flooded. We have moved most everything of value up to the second floor of the house, which I do not expect to be flooded. My parents live nearby and are not in a mandatory evacuation zone, and we plan go to their house. My questions are twofold:

(1) How do I abandon my house to the floodwaters while minimizing the flood damage? We have "move stuff upstairs" covered, but is there anything else I should be mindful of?
(2) We may not be able to get out on the roads tomorrow morning, and I'm worried we'll be trapped in a house that will be flooded. How do I arrange my two story house such that we can comfortably live in a flooded house?

There are three of us, none with children, with plenty of food and water. At the moment, our plan is to turn off the power at the breaker and abandon the house with the random stuff we put in the car. If we can't make it to our destination we plan to return to the house and make it through the flood at home without power. There is currently no estimation of how bad that flooding might be. If there's something you can think of that we can take care of to make either our departure or return easier we would greatly appreciate it!
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is an excellent Reddit thread on this very topic in r/Houston. I'd check it out now and connect with your neighbors there and see what they are doing.

It sounds like you need to leave early am. The houses will potentially be flooded for several weeks so plan accordingly. There will be traffic control etc in place at major intersections and they are clearing roads. That's what I got from just the first few posts (reading them over the phone to someone with no internet access). There are copious maps and helpful guidance there and people making plans. Perhaps more importantly there are links to live updates as they occur.

Good luck, it sounds awful. I hope your house doesn't flood after all. :(
posted by fshgrl at 11:49 PM on August 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Here is a link to the "how to do flooding" thread and here is a link to the reservoir updates thread.
posted by fshgrl at 12:12 AM on August 28, 2017 [6 favorites]

Does your house have gas appliances? Contact your utility for information on how to shut that off, too.
posted by magicbus at 7:24 AM on August 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just saw some advice on Twitter to take walk-through photos and video of your home; it will come in handy later for insurance and restoration purposes.
posted by lalex at 7:55 AM on August 28, 2017 [5 favorites]

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