You’ve Heard a Hurricane is Coming…Now What?
Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. They can also produce: winds (that can exceed 155 mph), tornadoes, storm surges along the coast, heavy rainfall, and landslides/mud slides resulting from heavy rainfall. In addition, floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events.
If you live in an area where a hurricane is likely, staying informed and alert to Hurricane forecast is a crucial part of being prepared. Knowing what to do with this information is just as important as staying informed.
When you’ve heard that a hurricane is likely:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information
- Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed
- Turn off propane tanks
- Avoid making phone calls, except for serious emergencies
- Moor your boat (if time permits)
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water
- Have shelf-stable food (such as HeaterMeals self-heating meals) stocked in your home and in your emergency kit
- Follow any and all evacuation instructions given by local authorities
You should consider evacuation before severe conditions occur if you:
- Live in a mobile home or temporary structure- no matter how well fastened to the ground
- Live in a high-rise building
- Live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway
If you are unable to evacuate:
- Relocate to a wind-safe room if one is available
- Stay indoors during the hurricane (away from all windows and glass doors)
- Close all interior doors
- Secure and brace external doors
- Keep curtains, windows, and blinds closed
- Take refuge in a small interior room, such as a closet, bathroom, or hallway on the lowest level
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object
- Avoid elevators
During and after the storm, continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the updates and stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended. If you have evacuated, only return home only when officials and authorities say it is safe.