Hurricane Safety Tips
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Know the difference between the threat levels and plan accordingly.
Coastal residents should form evacuation plans before a warning is issued to identify a safe shelter and a route to get there.
Stock up on emergency supplies including food, water, protective clothing, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.
As a storm unfolds, evacuees should listen to local authorities on radio or television. Evacuation routes often close as a storm develops.
Dedicated professionals and improved technology have made hurricane forecasting more accurate than ever before—but it’s far from precise.
If forced to weather a storm, get inside the most secure building possible and stay away from windows.
Remember that a lull often signifies the storm’s eye—not its end. Anyone riding out a hurricane should wait for authorities to announce that the danger has passed.
Prepare for Hurricanes
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio (Available on the Red Cross Store) for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
Turn off propane tank.
Unplug small appliances.
Fill your car’s gas tank.
Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. It’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Recover After a Hurricane
Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
Stay out of any building that has water around it.
Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
As You Rebuild:
Secure double entry doors at the top and the bottom.
Strengthen existing garage doors to improve the wind resistance, particularly double- wide garage doors.
Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans that is away from stairs and exits to prevent them from being moved by high winds and becoming missiles.