Make a hurricane emergency plan ahead of the storm.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 to November 30 each year. Residents of Atlantic and Gulf coastal areas should have a plan in place for rough weather. The National Hurricane Center monitors tropical storm activity as it develops, issuing a hurricane watch or warning as necessary.
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible in a specified area and is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area.
A hurricane warning indicates that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the specified area.
In the event of a hurricane watch:
- Listen for weather updates on local stations and on NOAA Weather Radio.
- Stock up on battery powered flashlights and a radio. Avoid using candles, especially around children and pets.
- Review your disaster plan with your family. If you don’t have one, make one.
- Update your emergency supply kit.
- Gather important papers – insurance, titles, deeds, birth certificates, prescriptions – along with any valuable or irreplaceable objects, like family photos and memorabilia. Place items that you cannot evacuate in watertight containers or seal them in plastic bags.
- Refill prescriptions and obtain an adequate supply of baby food, diapers and sanitary needs. Maintain at least a two-week supply of these items and nonperishable food during hurricane season.
- Clear your yard of potential flying debris, like lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles and trash cans.
- Protect your windows and glass doors.
- Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and check oil, water and tires. Gas pumps don’t operate without electricity.
- Secure your boat early. Some drawbridges on evacuation routes may be locked down and closed to boat traffic after an evacuation is ordered.
- Leave your swimming pool filled and super-chlorinated. Cover your filtration system.
- Get cash. Banks and ATMs cannot operate without electricity, and stores may not be able to accept credit cards.
- Take your pets with you or board them at a veterinarian. Evacuate large and exotic animals early. Pets are not allowed in American Red Cross shelters.
Evacuate if you live in:
- an area that will be subjected to storm surge
- a mobile home
- a flood-prone area
- an area where officials have issued an evacuation order
When you evacuate:
- Evacuate early – evacuation routes will likely be busy.
- Take an emergency supply kit with you.
- Take important papers with you.
- Tell friends or family where you are going.
- Turn off your electricity, gas and water at their main switches or valves. Do not attempt to turn off …read more
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