Beryl is forecast to hit Texas as a hurricane. Here's how you can prepare your emergency kit, home and evacuation plan.

Three people hold plywood against the wall of a house.
Residents cover the windows of their home in preparation for Hurricane Beryl in Barbados. (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

After making landfall and causing destruction in Jamaica, the Grenadines, Barbados and Mexico this past week, Beryl is set to hit Texas between Sunday and Monday, where it’s forecast to move from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane.

As of 7 a.m CT on Sunday morning, the storm — which has reportedly caused at least 11 deaths — was 220 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and had maximum sustained winds around 60 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. Meteorologists are now predicting a potentially life-threatening storm surge, in which the water could rise between three and five feet above typically dry land on the coast. To date, 121 Texas counties have been added to the state's Hurricane Beryl disaster declaration.

Whether or not you are in the path of Beryl, you may be wondering how to best protect yourself should a hurricane arise. Here’s how you can be prepared.

It’s best to prepare for a hurricane emergency before you imminently need to, says the Red Cross. This means having an emergency kit with supplies that will last you at least three days, should you be evacuated. The kit should include:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days)

  • Food (non-perishable, three-day supply)

  • Flashlight

  • Batteries/portable chargers for devices you need on hand

  • First aid kit

  • Medications

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation items (toilet paper, moist towelettes)

  • Personal hygiene items (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste)

  • Important documents (insurance policies, IDs)

  • Cash

  • Emergency blanket

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Local maps

  • Whistle

While this kit is good for three days of evacuation, you should also create a two-week version, in case you get stuck in your home without access to the outside world. This may mean stocking up on essential medication during hurricane season and adding extra water to your supply, as you may be unable to use your home plumbing due to safety issues.

It’s important, according to the National Weather Service, to see if your home has any weak points that may prove dangerous during a hurricane emergency. That includes whether you have storm shutters and whether your garage or other exterior doors are able to withstand the potential impact.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says you should make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt lock that is at least one inch long. Sliding glass doors should be made of tempered glass and covered with shutters or plywood so they don’t break and cause hazardous situations.

Some homes, such as mobile homes, are more susceptible to damage by hurricanes and are not suitable to stay in should a storm approach. If you live in one of these homes, it’s important you come up with a plan to evacuate before a storm comes.

Several dozen people in a large store.
People stand in line at a hardware store in Barbados, preparing for Hurricane Beryl. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

People who live in low-lying or flood-prone areas are more likely to be in an evacuation zone during a significant storm. Staying updated on evacuation plans is crucial, because it can save you valuable — sometimes even life-saving — time before the full effects of a storm hit your area.

It’s important you keep your gas tank full, or your vehicle charged, just in case you have to make a getaway. You can learn your state and local evacuation plans by visiting your state and county emergency management websites.

Just because dangerous winds and raging water have subsided doesn’t mean all is safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should follow the below tips in order to ensure your safety post-storm.

Stay out of floodwater: Follow warnings around flooded routes so you don’t get stuck in the water. If you must be in or near floodwater, wear a life jacket. Since floodwater can carry germs and dangerous chemicals, make sure to wash up with soap and water (or alcohol-based sanitizer, should none be available) if you come in contact with it.

Be vigilant about potential hazards: Power lines may fall during a hurricane, which can become dangerous. Report any fallen power lines to authorities. Also, avoid any buildings that may have been damaged by the hurricane, as they can collapse.

Avoid pests: Stormwater can attract bugs, which may carry disease. Use insect repellant made with DEET or picaridin, and cover up when you are outside. Stay away from any stray animals, which also may carry disease, and report any dead animals to local authorities.

Listen to authorities about water: Storms can sometimes affect the water moving through the pipes in your home. If you suspect or have been told your water is contaminated within your home, do not use it. Instead, go for bottled, boiled or treated water — and listen to any updates from your local health department on the best water plan for your area.

Be cautious about food: If your power goes out during a storm, the food in your refrigerator may no longer be safe to eat. Stick to nonperishables until you can restock.