The National Hurricane Center recommends:
Early in the hurricane season:
- Learn locations of shelters.
- Review working conditions of flashlights and battery-powered radios.
- Ensure that enough non-perishable food and water is on hand for two weeks.
- Obtain and store material like plywood and plastic to secure your home.
- Check home for loose and clogged rain gutters and spouts.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Cut away weak branches.
- If you have a boat, determine where to move it.
- Review your insurance policy.
- Individuals with special needs should contact the county emergency management office.
- Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones. (Never call 911 for information -- call 911 only if it is a true emergency.)
- Teach children how to make long-distance phone calls and how and when to call 911.
When a hurricane watch is issued for your area:
- Monitor weather bulletins.
- Fuel and service family vehicles.
- Inspect and secure mobile-home tie-downs.
- Prepare to cover all window and door openings with shutters or other shielding material.
- Check food and water supplies.
- Have clean, air-tight containers for two weeks of water.
- Stock up on canned provisions.
- Keep a small cooler with frozen gel packs for refrigerating items.
- Get a 10-day to two-week supply of prescription medicines.
- Stock up on extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- Prepare to store and secure outdoor furniture and garbage cans.
- Replenish first-aid supplies.
- Have an extra supply of cash.
When a hurricane warning is issued for your area:
- Closely monitor weather bulletins.
- Follow instructions from local officials. When told to leave, do so immediately.
- Complete preparations such as putting up storm shutters or storing loose objects.
- Evacuate storm-surge areas.
- Leave mobile homes.
- Plan to evacuate if you live: in a mobile home; on the coast; an offshore island or in a flood area; or in a high-rise.
- Stay with friends and relatives if possible.
- Shelters are a last resort. They do not take pets.
- Bring the following things to a shelter: first-aid kit; medicine; baby food and diapers; games and books; toiletries; battery-powered radios; flashlights; extra batteries; blankets or sleeping bags; identification; valuable papers and cash.
If staying home:
- Stay home only if you have not been told to leave.
- Fill air-tight containers with enough water for two weeks.
- Fill bathtub and large containers with water for sanitary purposes.
- Turn refrigerator to maximum cold.
- Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Unplug small appliances.
- Stay inside a well-constructed building.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Take refuge in a small interior room or closet.
- Close all interior doors and secure exterior doors and windows.
- If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first-floor room.
- Lie on the floor under a sturdy object.
- Do not assume improved weather conditions means the end of the storm. It could be the eye of the hurricane.
After the storm:
- Stay in protected area until announcements that the danger has passed.
- If you have evacuated, do not return home until you are told to do so by emergency officials.
- Do not enter a home with structural damage until it is checked.
- Avoid using candles or other open flames.
- Avoid downed power lines.
- Be alert for poisonous snakes.
- Beware of weakened bridges or washed-out roads.
- Watch for weakened limbs.
- Do not use the telephone unless absolutely necessary.
- Guard against spoiled food.
- Use caution when cutting fallen trees.