Before, During, and After a Hurricane

A step-by-step guide to staying safe through one of nature’s most powerful disasters

Every hurricane can be life-threatening and incredibly damaging. Hurricanes bring with them a wide variety of dangers including: incredibly high winds, driving rain, storm surges, severe flooding, and even tornadoes. Use the following guide as a checklist to keep your family out of harm’s way during hurricane season (from June through November in the Atlantic).



  • Prepare an emergency plan, including plans for evacuation and the location of the nearest shelters

  • Make sure your emergency kit is well-stocked, with food and water for at least 3 days (don’t forget to plan for your pets, too)

  • Purchase non-perishable food and other supplies (go early, as supplies will run lower the longer you wait)

  • Keep your TV or radio tuned to local stations for breaking weather updates

  • Fasten storm shutters or place plywood covers over exposed windows and glass doors

  • Fill up your vehicles with gas

  • Get extra cash out of the ATM

  • Fill all prescriptions and purchase over the counter medications

  • Make copies of important documents (insurance policies) or place originals (birth certificates, titles, and, deeds) in ziploc bags, and store in a safe, dry place

  • Unplug and cover computers and other appliances

  • Turn off the gas to prevent fires if damage should occur to utility lines

  • Photograph or take video of the interior and exterior of your home, as well as any other valuables covered under insurance policies (cars, trucks, and boats)

  • Keep your phone charged, and make sure you have a car adapter in case the power goes out

  • Gather playing cards or other games to play during or after the storm

  • If you are ordered to evacuate, DO SO IMMEDIATELY


  • If authorities say that it is safe to wait out the storm in your area, stay inside your home, and keep away from windows and doors.

  • Stay in interior rooms and keep away from the roof and exterior walls during the most intense part of the storm

  • Do not go outside for any reason, until cleared to do so by local officials. Remember, the eye of the storm will seem calm, but the worst is only half over

  • Stay tuned to local TV and radio broadcasts for updates from the authorities

  • Stay off your cell phone to keep lines open for emergency workers

  • Play cards or other games to keep children distracted during the scariest parts of the storm


  • Don’t leave your home until cleared by authorities and YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE IT SAFE

  • When you do go outside, be wary of damaged trees, utility poles, and other structures that can fall or collapse

  • Don’t drive or venture far from your home unless you absolutely have to, or you have been cleared by emergency officials to do so. Washed-out or flooded roads are extremely dangerous, and one of the leading causes of death from a hurricane

  • Take photos or video of your home and possessions again, to document any damage the storm might have caused

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report any claims


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