By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

Everything you need to prepare for a tropical storm including a tropical storm checklist, equipment and supplies. Knowing how to prepare for a tropical storm can save your life.



TannerTanner: Former aerospace engineer who specialized in hypergolic propellants. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammo.







How To Prepare For A Tropical Storm

A tropical storm is a tropical low pressure area with winds between 35 knots (40 mph) and 65 knots (75 mph). When winds increase above 75 mph a tropical storm becomes a hurricane. Tropical storms can be destructive causing death, injury, and property damage.


How To Prepare For A Hurricane  


Knowing how to prepare for a tropical storm 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 storm.


Storm Dangers

  1. Storm surge
  2. Marine hazards
  3. Tornadoes
  4. High winds (ranging from 74 to over 155 mph
  5. Inland flooding


Equipment & Supplies

Buy these items well before the tropical storm arrives. 

  1. Emergency power generator (Emergency Generators )
  2. Survival kit/ bug out bags (Executive 72-hour Kit with Solar Upgrade)
  3. Food (MRE's)
  4. Water (Water Filters, Purifiers and Storage)
  5. Emergency lights (Emergency Lighting)
  6. Emergency radio (Emergency Radios)
  7. Two large coolers: One for drinks & one for food
  8. Plywood and construction supplies (in the event that you have to board up your windows)
  9. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your electronics.(UPS)


Emergency Kits

Make, stock up or verify the fully stocked status of each of your emergency kits.

  1. Car back pack, car first aid kit (first aid kit ), auto tool kit (tool kit ) and car contents.
  2. Emergency evacuation backpack
  3. Food emergency kit
  4. Dog/pet emergency kit
  5. Tropical Storm emergency Kit - (72-hour Survival Kits) Make sure your tropical storm 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 gloves.


Storm Planning

  1. Make a tropical storm plan. Know when and what you are going to do in advance of an oncoming tropical storm.

  2. Make a family communications plan.

  3. Determine the elevation level of your property and whether your land is in a flood zone or will be prone to flooding.

  4. Identify nearby ponds, lakes, levees and dams in your area and determine if they pose a hazard to you.

  5. Identify and pre-plan tropical storm evacuation routes. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you need to evacuate.

  6. Have a free tropical storm home inspection performed on you house to identify weakness and deficiencies in your house. You may qualify for a discount from you home insurance company.

  7. Investigate whether to get tropical storm approved windows and garage doors.

  8. Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

  9. Make sure each member of your family knows what to do no matter where they are when an tropical storm occurs.

  10. Establish a meeting place where you can all reunite afterward.

  11. Transportation may be disrupted after an tropical storm, keep emergency supplies (food, liquids, comfortable shoes) at work, in your car and at home.

  12. Make sure all family members know where your gas, electric and water main shutoff valves are and how to turn them off.

  13. Identify your closest fire and police stations and emergency medical facility.

  14. Coordinate your emergency tropical storm plans with your neighbors.

  15. TAKE Red Cross First Aid and CPR Training Course.


Prepare Your House & Yard For A Tropical Storm

  1. Install window protection. Cover all of your home’s windows and openings. Approved tropical storm storm shutters offer the best protection. If you don't have tropical storm shutters, board up your windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Ref Best Do It Yourself Plywood Tropical Storm Shutters.
  2. Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  3. Inspect your roof for integrity and loose shingles. Repair as needed.
  4. Trim surrounding trees and shrubs so they are less susceptible to damage to the wind.
  5. Clean your rain gutters and downspouts.
  6. If you don't have a tropical storm rated garage door, then cover or reinforce your garage doors.
  7. 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.
  8. Install an emergency power generator. Test it to make sure it works. Get plenty of fuel.
  9. If you live in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  10. Build a safe room in your house and stock it with basic supplies.
  11. Perform any needed weatherproofing or repairs to home, yard area and fence.
  12. Have basic repair and clean up materials handy (plastic sheeting, nails, duct tape, hammer, shovel, chainsaw, etc.).
  13. Walk down and inspect your the fence line. Repair/strengthen as needed.
  14. Secure your fence gates but don't lock them.
  15. Position sand bags at front door, side door and garage door to prevent rain water intrusion.
  16. Remove your mail box, if it is prone to damage in high winds.
  17. Mow the grass before the tropical storm.
  18. Super chlorinate the pool, add water to pool, remove and store scupper cover.
  19. If your house doors swing inward, install additional locks or supports to brace against the wind.


Prepare Your Car

  1. 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.
  2. Fill your tank up with gas.
  3. Get spare gas cans and fill them up in case of gas shortage after the tropical storm.
  4. Park your car in the garage, sheltered location or the most protected and highest elevated ground possible.
  5. Secure all of your cars important paperwork to somewhere safe.
  6. Verify car contents. Fully equip your car. See What Should I Keep In My Car?
  7. Make sure your car insurance is up to date and in force.


Important Documents

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.

  1. Photo copies of prescriptions
  2. Emergency preparedness manual
  3. Photo identification
  4. Proof of occupancy of residence (utility bills)
  5. Medical history or information
  6. Waterproof container for document storage
  7. Back-up disks of your home computer files
  8. Camera & film & spare batteries for camera
  9. Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, copy of will, family records
  10. Important telephone numbers and contact information
  11. Inventory, pictures and receipts of valuable household goods


Before The Storm

  1. Double check your emergency kits and supplies (food, water, flashlights, weather radio, batteries, etc.)
  2. Identify battery powered appliances and tools and stock up on all applicable batteries. Fully charge all chargeable batteries (Solar Battery Charger)
  3. Get extra cash. Get small bills, ones, 5's, 10's, 20's and 50's at the bank.
  4. Put important documents in a waterproof container or bag.
  5. Plan for your pets.
  6. Monitor emergency broadcasts and be ready to evacuate.
  7. Stock up on ice.
  8. Fill all bottles, bathtubs and containers with water. This is a neat bathtub water storage device.. waterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage.
  9. Verify Clorox in house.
  10. Verify firearm and ammo supplies (if applicable).
  11. Wash all clothing and sheets.
  12. Verify pet medications, if applicable.
  13. Verify prescription supplies, if applicable (enough for one month)
  14. Check pet friendly shelters and hotels (just in case).
  15. Call family and friends to notify of intentions.
  16. Verify supply of tape/tapes
  17. Verify supply of tarps and roofing nails for repairs after the tropical storm.
  18. Make/buy ice. Stock your freezer and coolers.
  19. Move furniture away from windows.
  20. Extra supply of medicines for each family member (and pets)
  21. Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal.



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  • Bread  • Food bars  • Candy  • Canned juice  • Soup  • Dried fruit and nuts  • Cereal  • Protein powder  • Oatmeal  • Batteries  • Dog food  • Powdered milk


During The Storm

  1. Stay indoors at all times during the tropical storm.
  2. If your house doors swing inward, lock them and install additional locks or supports.
  3. Stay away from windows and glass doors.
  4. Close all interior doors.
  5. Keep curtains and blinds closed.
  6. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  7. Avoid elevators.
  8. Watch TV or listen to the radio for tropical storm updates.
  9. Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed (secure and brace external doors).
  10. Turn off propane tanks
  11. 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 Storm

  1. Continue listening for the latest updates.

  2. Expect more rain and possible flooding even after the tropical storm has ended.

  3. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch dangers including fallen objects, downed electrical wires and wild animals.

  4. Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

  5. Walk carefully around the outside your home and inspect for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.

  6. Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control.

  7. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.

  8. Avoid drinking tap water or preparing food with it until you are sure it’s not contaminated.

  9. Check refrigerated food for spoilage.

  10. Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up.