When a Warning is Issued
When a warning is issued, hazardous weather is imminent and immediate action should be taked. If there's a hurricane approaching, a warning typically means hurricane conditions are expected to hit the area within 36 hours. If an evacuation is ordered, make sure you stay safe and follow planned evacuation routes.
Here's what you can do to prepare before the storm hits full force.
Outside your home:
- Begin installing storm shutters or plywood and door braces. Remember all window openings need to be covered and all doors must withstand hurricane force winds (including the garage door).
- Unplug your television before attempting to lower an outdoor antenna. Take great care not to allow the antenna anywhere near an electrical line.
- Do not drain in-ground pools completely. Drain approximately one foot to allow for possible heavy rains. Super-chlorinate to avoid contamination. Disconnect and protect electrical pumps.
- Bring in any outdoor objects that could be blown away including lawn furniture, potted plants, barbecue pits, etc. Encourage neighbors to do the same.
- Disconnect propane gas tanks and turn off the main gas line.
Inside your home:
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings. Freeze water in plastic jugs and fill empty spaces to help keep food cold.
- Make sure you have at least seven gallons of water per person on hand. You can buy bottled water or fill clean empty plastic jugs with tap water. Plenty of fresh drinking water is an absolute must after a major hurricane.
- Clean a bathtub using bleach, rinse thoroughly and let dry. Seal the drain with caulk and fill the tub. This water is to be used for bathing and sanitary purposes only, not for drinking.
- Prepare your safe room. Stock it with a battery-powered TV and/or radio with spare batteries, sleeping bags and pillows, chairs, snacks and drinking water. Don't forget diapers if necessary. Have a mattress nearby in case your home suffers structural damage.
- Place valuables and personal papers in waterproof containers or plastic trash bags. Store them as high as possible. If you are evacuating you may be required to provide proof of residency before being allowed to return to an evacuation area after a storm.
- Close all windows.
- Put as many loose objects as possible in drawers.
- Call your out of town contact and tell them where you will be during the hurricane.
- Mobile home residents should evacuate, do not stay in a mobile home during any hurricane.
- High-rise condo residents should bring in loose objects from balconies, install shutters on windows and sliding doors. Evacuate if you are in an evacuation zone or on an upper floor.
- Try to eat a meal before you leave for a shelter.
- Stay tuned to your local TV or radio stations for weather updates and evacuation information.