Be Safe! Prepare For the Hurricane

General Information

Hurricane Season begins June 1st and ends November 30th.
If you follow this advice, you and your family will be safer.

Hurricane Watch means a hurricane may threaten.
Hurricane Warning means a hurricane is expected to strike.

Check that your emergency equipment is in good working order, and that you have enough supplies to last at least one week.

Obtain and store materials necessary to properly secure your home.

Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed during hurricane season. Once a hurricane watch is announced, do not trim trees and leave trimmings to be picked up. Trash collection services will be diverted to other tasks.

Who Should Evacuate?
All mobile home residents must evacuate for any hurricane. All other residents should call their local Emergency Management (E.M.) Office to see whether or
not they live within an evacuation zone. Please note: these zones are re-evaluated and changed periodically.

If you need transportation assistance for evacuation, contact your local E.M. office as soon as possible. You must register in advance. The information you provide is highly confidential and is only made available to necessary personnel.

If a household member is bedridden and requires constant medical care or electrical life support equipment in the home, call your local E.M. office for special instructions. Do not wait until a storm approaches.

What to do when a Hurricane Threatens?
As soon as there is a Hurricane Watch, and before there is a Hurricane Warning, you should do the following:

  1. Review the checklist for hurricane supplies on page 4, and make sure you have all the supplies you need.
  2. Pay attention to the news broadcasts.
  3. Fill your vehicle’s gas tank ahead of time.
  4. Bring objects inside that may blow away and anchor down any that cannot be brought inside.
  5. Store valuables and documents in waterproof containers.
  6. Prepare for tornadoes. If you see or hear a tornado, take the following safety measures:
    • At home: Take cover in the smallest room with concrete walls, or under heavy furniture in the center of the house.
    • Outside: Seek indoor shelter if time permits. If not, lie flat in the nearest depression, like a ditch, and protect your head with your arms.
  7. Beware of lightning. Stay indoors and away from electrical equipment. Don’t use the phone or take a bath or shower during the storm.

Storing Hurricane Supplies
Be certain you have at least one week’s supply of non-perishable foods, baby food, medicines, etc.

Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings. Open the doors only if necessary, and close them quickly. This helps to retain food-preserving temperature up to two days without electricity.

Storing Water
Prepare your emergency water supply ahead of time. Use clean, airtight containers to store enough drinking water for at least one week. Two quarts of drinking water per person per day is recommended. Also, sterilize bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and other containers for water storage. Scrub thoroughly, wipe down with bleach, rinse well. Let dry, and then fill with water, which can also be used for
sanitary purposes.

Shelter – Plan Ahead
Staying at home. Make sure your home meets current building codes and is in good condition. If you do not reside in a designated evacuation zone, you may stay at home provided you make the necessary preparations.

Staying with friends or relatives. If you must evacuate, seek shelter with a friend or relative. Have a back-up plan in case they are out of town.

Staying outside the area. Use a current road map to plan a route away from major bodies of water. Leave early to avoid heavy traffic and roads blocked by early flooding.

Staying at a Red Cross Shelter. Red Cross hurricane shelters will be available to people who have no other place to go. If you must seek public shelter, listen to news broadcasts for announcements of shelter openings. Do not go to a shelter unless radio or television stations announce it is open.

Eat before you arrive. Meals may not be available for the first 24 hours. Bring the following: first-aid kit, baby supplies, cards/games/books, battery operated radio or TV and extra batteries, blankets/sleeping bags, identification cards/documents, and any valuable papers (i.e. insurance, etc.).

What About Pets?
Pets are not allowed in Red Cross Shelters due to states’ health and safety regulations; only service animals that assist people with disabilities are permitted. Be sure to make advance preparations. Many veterinarians and kennels in non-evacuation areas will board pets for a fee. If you need to evacuate and cannot kennel your pet, take your pet with you. Do not leave pets behind. They are unlikely to survive on their own.

Securing your Property
Close shutters, secure awnings and brace sliding glass doors and French doors. Fasten storm shutters and board up windows.

When taking down an antenna, BE CAREFUL. Unplug television set first and do not make contact with power lines.

Do not drain your swimming pool. Turn off electricity to pool equipment. If the filter pump is exposed, wrap it with waterproof covering and tie securely. Add extra chlorine to the pool to prevent contamination.

Large boat owners should make advance preparations for the safe harbor of their boats during a hurricane watch period. If you have a small boat (fits on a trailer), put the boat on the ground, remove the outboard motor, tie the boat down and fill it halfway with water.

During the Hurricane
Stay indoors. An interior room is usually safest. If the hurricane’s eye passes through your area, do not go outside. Wind and rain may stop for a short period of time, but beware, wind will suddenly pick up again from the opposite direction and possibly with even greater force.

If the electricity goes out, use flashlights instead of candles or kerosene lamps, and be careful when cooking with flames. Conserve refrigeration. Remember that cordless phones will not work without electricity. Have a regular phone available. Please use phones only for emergencies and monitor battery powered radios or TV’s.

After the Hurricane
Remain indoors until official "all clear" is given.

Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in or near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.

Use phones only for emergencies. Call 911 only for life-threatening situations.

Only report individual trouble with electricity, gas, water or telephone after service has been generally restored in your neighborhood.

Do call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as: down power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks.

Watch for weakened roads, bridges, tree limbs or porches which could collapse unexpectedly.

After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage.

When reinstalling a radio, TV or satellite antenna, check in all directions and make sure no power lines are nearby.

Hurricane Supplies Checklist

  1. Cash
  2. Manual Can Opener
  3. Matches
  4. Canned Foods
  5. Drinking water, cooler, ice
  6. Water for Sanitary Purposes
  7. Battery-operated radio or TV
  8. Battery-operated flashlights, candles
  9. Spare batteries
  10. Portable Stove
  11. Fuel for Stove
  12. Wood boards to protect windows
  13. Adhesive tape for glass
  14. Fire extinguisher
  15. Bleach
  16. Medicines
  17. First-aid kit
  18. Car filled with gas
  19. Telephone numbers for family and doctors
  20. Important documents
  21. Fully charged cell phone