What to do when a hurricane approaches

Palm trees bending from high winds while waves crash and roar in the background

Remain calm and follow these steps when a hurricane approaches:


  • Listen to your radio for weather updates

    Try to stay near a radio so you can have access to the latest weather updates. You'll need accurate information to help keep you and your family safe.
  • Get your home ready

    Walk around the yard and pick up all loose objects, like lawn ornaments and lawn furniture. Place protection over your windows, and lower the TV and radio antennas if you can. If a flood threatens and you can't remove your belongings, elevate them; for example, place your TVs on tables.
  • Know the community's evacuation plan

    Almost every year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts need to evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes. Evacuation plans vary. They depend on the area and the type of disaster. Check your local emergency management or civil defense office for information on what to do in your community. Notify friends or family members.
  • If you and your family are evacuating

    If you're evacuating, carry pictures of family members with you in case you become separated. Make sure kids know family member names, addresses and phone numbers. Make sure each child has identification information, such as parent's name, address, contact name and phone number, with them. Decide on a pre-determined person to contact should you become separated.
  • Watch TV or listen to the radio

    If your community has to evacuate, tune in to the television or radio for emergency information. You may have a day or two to evacuate, but that won't always be the case. That's why it's so important to be prepared!
  • Check your survival kit and emergency supplies

    Make sure your survival kit is packed and ready to go. Check your emergency supplies against the list provided in our emergency checklist.
  • Last-minute individual items

    Have each person prepare their backpack or tote bag of individual items.
  • Fill the gas tank in your car

    Fill your car's gas tank and check the oil, water and tires. You'll need a full tank of gas in your car, but NEVER store additional gas in your home or shed. Remember, you may not be able to buy gas during an emergency. If you don't have a car, make other transportation arrangements with relatives, friends, neighbors or your local emergency management office.
  • When leaving the house

    When you're ready to leave your home, unplug all appliances like your TV, VCR, computer, stereo and microwave. If you've been instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity. Finally, lock windows and doors.


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