Hurricane.com since 1994
When a storm threatens, what should you do? Hurricane preparedness is merely a matter of planning ahead. Hurricane threats come in many forms, including storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding.
Standby Generators - from whole house to portable generators
Emergency Supplies - supplies you could need in a hurricane
Hurricane Shutters - shutters to protect your home
Hurricane Lamps - hurricane lamps
Before the Hurricane Season Begins
Develop a plan. Know your homes vulnerability to the threats above - surge, wind, and flooding. Check your supplies - water, batteries, food.
For information on developing a Hurricane Supply kit, see our page on that topic. Know where you can evacuate to - friends, relatives, a hotel?
Know when to take action - Watch vs Warning
WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.
WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours. Remember that there is no such thing as a "minor hurricane." Category 1 and 2 hurricanes still can do significant damage.
Prepare before a Watch or Warning is issued and be ready to evacuate when the Watch comes or earlier if so instructed.
An Approaching Storm
As a storm approaches, you should prepare your house and your yard. Some things to consider:
Turn down the temperature on your freezer and refrigerator as low as possible. This will buy you more time in the event of a power loss. 24 to 48 hours before will cool the food. Avoid opening them whenever possible.
If you are evacuating, probably unnecessary.
Before you evacuate, call at least one person out of state to let them know your plans.
Ensure that your Hurricane Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
Charge electronic devices, for example, computers, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, razors, and the like.
Make extra ice, bag it - this will be useful to use and to keep the freezer cold.
Do the same with your home air conditioner. It gets very hot and very humid very quickly.
If you are evacuating, this is not necessary.
If you have a generator, do NOT run it inside or near the house. But make sure you have fuel to run it.
Make sure your car has fuel.
Pick up yard debris - furniture, tools, decorative items, branches - anything loose that could become a missile.
We have placed furniture in the pool upon occasion.
Secure boats, trailers, campers, RVs, and the like in the safest place you can find. Tie them down, anchor them, or however you can best secure them. But, take into account that there may be a storm surge.
Secure all doors and windows with locks, and shutters if available. Plywood, properly secured, can be effective. Don't forget your garage doors.
Move items that may be damaged by water to higher areas of your home if you can not take them with you if evacuating. Move them away from windows in case they are broken.
Huge items must even be secured in big storms. An engine block was found 40 or 50 feet up in a pine tree in the Homestead (actually Redlands) area after Andrew. Don't think that something is too big to be moved by the wind.
Bring cars, bikes, scooters and anything like that into your garage if possible.
Bring in grills or other cooking items.
Bring in hoses, trash cans, hot tub covers, wind-chimes, plants.
Caulk and fill bathtubs - extra water comes in handy for toilets and more..
It may sound strange, but do your laundry, dishes, and take a shower. Why? Because if you lose power, having as much clean as possible will make a big difference.
Check if your pool pump should be on or off.
Close and fasten gates so they don't swing.
Close chimney flues.
Close/latch inside doors and cabinets.
If you have time, help your neighbors. Debris in their yards can easily impact your home and yard.
During a storm.
Stay inside, away from windows
Be alert for tornadoes
Stay away from flood waters and storm surge. It can be deceptively strong.
Be aware of the eye. It may be calm, but winds can and will pick up quickly and could catch you outside.
Un-plug electronic devices that are not in use to avoid surge damage. This is less likely that during afternoon thunderstorms because lightening is rare in a hurricane, but it is better to be safe.
After a Storm
Know power safety - avoid downed lines
Know food safety - what is good and for how long.
Chain saw safety is critical
Generator safety is important too
Water treatment - whether water needs to be boiled or not.
Listen to local officials
Use flashlights instead of candles
Inspect your home for damage.
Stay off roads as much as possible
You may need to super-chlorinate your pool
1. Move life jackets and first aid kits to house
2. Remove cushions and lose items (e.g. boat tops) and move to garage
3. Anchor hatch covers
4. Move to maximum davit height, fasten cables
5. Unplug davits/lifts
6. Turn off outside electricity to davits
7. For our Boston Whaler: put in main plug on boat (take out other plugs)
8. Tighten down davit locks
9. Tie down boat with dock lines
Hurricane & Tropical Storm
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Active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.
-The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.