TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Nicholas, the 15th named storm in the Atlantic basin, formed Sunday morning and rain chances will increase starting Monday in parts of East Texas, but heavy rain could impact the area on Tuesday & Wednesday.

Before the storm comes, it is important to be prepared and there are certain steps you can make to be prepared.

Before landfall

  • Fill your tank
  • Get sandbags to prepare for possible flooding
  • Create a disaster supply kit
  • In some cases, sandbags can prevent floodwaters from entering your home. Purchase sandbags if you may need them, and be sure to fill them up ahead of time.
  • Assess your risk for flooding. Do you live in a flood plain, in a low-lying area, or along the coast? Are there creeks and streams nearby that fill up when it rains? Are there low-lying areas near or around your home’s perimeter?
  • Ensure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Secure outdoor furniture, potted plants, lawn ornaments, and bar-b-que grills.
  • Turn off propane tanks.

Get an insurance checkup

  • Check in with your insurance company and remember that flood insurance may be separate

What to do during the storm

  • Keep your Disaster Supply Kit handy so you can grab it and go in case you must evacuate suddenly.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of floodwaters. They can move swiftly, often faster than they appear. They are very dangerous. A car will float in only a few inches of swiftly moving water.
  • Turn around don’t drown. Water can look like it’s only a few inches deep when it’s actually several feet deep. All it takes is one foot of water to make a car or SUV float.
  • Monitor radio or TV for information.
  • Check in with family/friends so they know your location and that you are safe.

What to do after the storm

  • Don’t enter your home if the electricity may still be on
  • Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves when cleaning up.
  • Help prevent mold by disinfecting household items with a bleach solution.
  • Downed power lines are a serious electrocution hazard. Never touch downed power lines or any objects that are in contact with them, including water.
  • If you smell gas, call the gas company. Do not smoke, use your cell or landline phone, light candles, or use matches near gas leaks.
  • Discard food from your refrigerator if it has reached room temperature. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Poisoning from carbon monoxide is an avoidable hazard during power outages. Never use generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills inside your home, garage, or near open windows, doors, or vents. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can build up and cause sudden illness and death. If you feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous, seek immediate medical attention.
  • When clearing debris, look out for broken glass and exposed nails. Seek medical attention for any puncture type injuries.

Disaster supply kit

  • 3-5 day supply of food and water (1 gallon of water per person per day)
    • Remember to replace food and water every six months
  • Battery-powered radio/NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Typical household batteries have shelf life of 5-10 years
  • First aid kit with any necessary medicine
    • Note that most over-the-counter medicine expires after one year
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Wrench/pliers to turn off utilities
  • Cell phone with charger, inverter or solar charger
  • Cash (ATMs and credit card readers might not work)
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

You can track Nicholas and monitor with our interactive radar for all things weather:

Be sure to download our East Texas Storm Team app. We will have a Tracking The Tropics live stream from our team of meteorologists across the country. You can also look at the latest track of Nicholas and see the tropical model output. As the storm gets closer to the US mainland, Futurecast will provide another look at the storm arrival/track/timing. Download for Apple and Android devices.