How To Prepare For A Hurricane
Hurricanes are severe tropical cyclones having winds
greater than 64 knots (74 miles per hour), originating in the equatorial regions of the Atlantic
Ocean or Caribbean Sea or eastern regions of the Pacific
Ocean, traveling north, northwest, or northeast from its
point of origin, and usually involving heavy rains.
Knowing how to prepare for a hurricane
and taking all the right precautions to protect yourself and you
loved ones can
give you peace of mind. You should plan and make preparations
well in advance of the hurricane.
- Storm surge
- Marine hazards
- Tornadoes (more than 50% of hurricanes spawn tornadoes)
- High winds (ranging from 74 to over 155 mph
- Inland flooding (accounts for 60% of hurricane-related
Equipment & Supplies
Buy these items well before the hurricane arrives.
- Emergency power generator (Emergency
- Survival kit/ bug out bags (Executive 72-hour Kit with Solar Upgrade)
- Food (MRE's)
- Water (Water Filters, Purifiers and Storage)
- Emergency lights (Emergency Lighting)
- Emergency radio (Emergency Radios)
- Two large coolers: One for drinks & one for food
- Plywood and construction supplies (in the event that
you have to
board up your windows)
- Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your
Make, stock up or verify the fully stocked status of each of your
- Car back pack, car first aid kit (first
), auto tool kit (tool
- Emergency evacuation backpack
- Food emergency kit
- Dog/pet emergency kit
- Hurricane emergency Kit - (72-hour Survival Kits) Make sure your hurricane kit includes:
Flashlights & extra bulbs, Battery-operated radio, Battery-operated
lanterns, Batteries (in different sizes!), Matches, First aid kit, Duct
tape, Rain gear,
Clock (wind-up or battery-powered), Plastic garbage bags, Fire
extinguisher, Scissors, Can Opener, Clean clothes, Extra blankets, Heavy
Make a hurricane plan. Know when and what you are going
to do in advance of an oncoming hurricane.
Make a family communications
Determine the elevation level of your
property and whether your land is in a flood zone or will be
prone to flooding.
Identify nearby ponds, lakes, levees and dams in your
area and determine if they pose a hazard to you.
Identify and pre-plan hurricane
evacuation routes. Determine
where you would go and how you would get there if you need
Have a free hurricane home inspection performed on you
house to identify weakness and deficiencies in your house.
You may qualify for a discount from you home insurance
Investigate whether to get hurricane approved windows and
Find out how to keep food safe during and after and
Make sure each member of your family knows what to do no
matter where they are when an hurricane occurs.
Establish a meeting place where you can all reunite
Transportation may be disrupted after an
emergency supplies (food, liquids, comfortable shoes) at
work, in your car and at home.
Make sure all family members know where your gas,
electric and water main shutoff valves are and how to turn
Identify your closest fire and police stations and
emergency medical facility.
Coordinate your emergency hurricane plans with your
TAKE Red Cross First Aid and CPR Training Course.
Prepare Your House & Yard For A Hurricane
- Install window protection. Cover all of your homeâ€™s windows and
Approved hurricane storm shutters offer the best protection. If you
don't have hurricane shutters, board up your windows with 5/8â€ marine
plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Ref
Best Do It Yourself Plywood
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to
the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Inspect your roof for integrity and loose shingles. Repair as
- Trim surrounding trees and shrubs so they
are less susceptible to damage to the wind.
- Clean your rain gutters and downspouts.
- If you don't have a hurricane rated garage door, then cover or reinforce
your garage doors.
- Clear the yard, patio and screened enclosure of all unsecured items
including outdoor furniture,
decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Items
that cannot be removed must be appropriately secured down.
- Install an emergency power generator. Test it to make sure it works.
Get plenty of fuel.
- If you live in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below
the 10th floor.
- Build a safe room in your house and stock it with basic supplies.
- Perform any needed weatherproofing or repairs to home, yard area and
- Have basic repair and clean up materials handy (plastic sheeting,
nails, duct tape, hammer, shovel, chainsaw, etc.).
- Walk down and inspect your the fence line. Repair/strengthen as
- Secure your fence gates but don't lock them.
- Position sand bags at front door, side door and garage door to
prevent rain water intrusion.
- Remove your mail box, if it is prone to damage in high winds.
- Mow the grass before the hurricane.
- Super chlorinate the pool, add water to pool, remove and store scupper cover.
- If your house doors swing inward, install additional locks or
supports to brace against the wind.
Prepare Your Car
- Perform maintenance on your car to make sure it's
"ready to go" in case you have to evacuate. Check tire
pressure, oil level, radiator level, washer level.
Verify car running condition.
- Fill your tank up with gas.
- Get spare gas cans and fill them up in case of gas
shortage after the hurricane.
- Park your car in the garage, sheltered location or
the most protected and highest elevated ground possible.
- Secure all of your cars important paperwork to
- Verify car contents. Fully equip your car. See
What Should I Keep In My Car?
- Make sure your car insurance is up to date and in
Update important documents and place in a portable and waterproof
container. As backup, scan and save your documents on a flash drive, website
other secure storage system and store in a safe location. Update or take new pictures of yard, house, house contents and car
contents and backup computer files. Email important documents to self or a friend.
- Photo copies of prescriptions
- Emergency preparedness manual
- Photo identification
- Proof of occupancy of residence (utility bills)
- Medical history or information
- Waterproof container for document storage
- Back-up disks of your home computer files
- Camera & film & spare batteries for camera
- Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card,
copy of will, family records
- Important telephone numbers and contact information
- Inventory, pictures and receipts of valuable household goods
Before The Hurricane
- Double check your emergency kits and supplies (food, water, flashlights, weather
radio, batteries, etc.)
- Identify battery powered appliances and tools and
stock up on all applicable batteries. Fully charge all
chargeable batteries (Solar Battery Charger)
- Get extra cash. Get small bills, ones, 5's, 10's,
20's and 50's at the bank.
- Put important documents in a waterproof container or
- Plan for your pets.
- Monitor emergency broadcasts and be ready to evacuate.
- Stock up on ice.
- Fill all bottles, bathtubs and containers with water. This is a neat
bathtub water storage device.. waterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage.
- Verify Clorox in house.
- Verify firearm and ammo supplies (if
- Wash all clothing and sheets.
- Verify pet medications, if applicable.
- Verify prescription supplies, if applicable (enough
for one month)
- Check pet friendly shelters and hotels (just in
- Call family and friends to notify of intentions.
- Verify supply of tape/tapes
- Verify supply of tarps and roofing nails for
repairs after the hurricane.
- Make/buy ice. Stock your freezer and coolers.
- Move furniture away from windows.
- Extra supply of medicines for each family member
- Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste
Food & Water - Pack non-perishable food for each
person for 3-7 days. Bottled water (1
gallon/person/day). Bottled juice. Canned foods.
Remember you pets.
Stock up on food, including.
Crackers â€¢ Bread â€¢ Food bars â€¢ Candy â€¢ Canned juice
â€¢ Soup â€¢ Dried fruit and nuts â€¢ Cereal â€¢ Protein powder
â€¢ Oatmeal â€¢ Batteries â€¢ Dog food â€¢ Powdered milk
During The Hurricane
- Stay indoors at all times during the hurricane.
- If your house doors swing inward, lock them and install additional
locks or supports.
- Stay away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the
- Avoid elevators.
- Watch TV or listen to the radio for hurricane updates.
- Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its
doors closed (secure and brace external doors).
- Turn off propane tanks
- When the wind picks up and things get scary, go to your safe room,
lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
After The Hurricane
Continue listening for the
Expect more rain and possible
flooding even after the hurricane has ended.
Stay off the streets. If you
must go out watch dangers including fallen objects,
downed electrical wires and wild animals.
Drive only if necessary and
avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Walk carefully around the
outside your home and inspect for damage. Take pictures
of damage, both of the building and its contents, for
Watch your pets closely and keep
them under your direct control.
Watch out for wild animals,
especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through
Avoid drinking tap water or
preparing food with it until you are sure itâ€™s not
Check refrigerated food for
Wear protective clothing and be
cautious when cleaning up.