Phase 1 - Well Before a Hurricane Strikes
For a more detailed discussion about preseason hurricane preparedness, check the our preseason hurricane preparedness page.
- Identify a place of shelter during a hurricane. Know what wind speeds your shelter can withstand and if your location is in a flood plain. Determine if your shelter could be affected by a storm surge. If so, what winds would it take to affect it?
- Have a means to board up the windows in your shelter. Shutters or plywood could be used.
- Check to see if trees could topple onto your shelter if the winds are strong enough. Cut away dead branches.
- Plan an evacuation route and a secondary route if the first one is blocked. Identify relatives or another place to stay if you must leave home.
- Have maps of your evacuation route. Google maps are an excellent choice, but have a paper backup in case cell service is lost.
- Have a radio with new batteries to receive news bulletins. Have a NOAA weather radio in case the power goes out.
- Have an app with a radar, and other official hurricane information.
- Check your flashlight.
- Identify any prescription medications that you may need to take with you if you need to evacuate.
- Identify a means to purify water such as water purification tablets. Have some on hand in case pure water is not available for a prolonged period of time. There are also water filters in bottles or straws that can purify water.
- Buy a portable generator for a backup power source.
- Have extra propane for cooking.
- Have extra non perishable food on hand that would last for a few weeks.
- Buy a chain saw to remove debris.
Phase 2 - Hurricane Watch
Phase 3 - Hurricane Warning
- Complete action steps in phase 1.
- Board up or close shutters on your windows. Do NOT use tape. This offers no protection and wastes time!
- Have at least three days of drinking water and means to purify water ready. This can be achieved by buying bottled water and filling up jugs of water. You may also consider filling up your tub with water.
- Round up any medications and toiletries that you may need.
- Have important papers gathered such as insurance information. Have a plastic bag to seal the papers in.
- Make sure that your vehicle has a full fuel tank. In a power outage gas may become scarce.
- Gather necessary clothing, blankets, and bedding.
- Evacuate if told to do so by local government officials.
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- All preparations should have been completed by this time. If you are still not at your evacuation point, check expected weather conditions to see if you can still get there without endangering your life. Weather conditions can change very quickly at this point and become dangerous. Do not get stranded in your car!
- Take along all necessary items described in preparedness phase 1 and 2.
- Be careful not to venture outside if strong winds diminish very quickly. It is possible that the eye of the hurricane has passed over. Winds will pick up very quickly from the opposite direction.
- Do not cross flooded roadways! Water can sweep a vehicle away very easily. Find another route.
- Turn off electricity and gas if told to do so by local authorities.
- If you have had to evacuate, return home when local authorities recommend.