Be Prepared for a Hurricane

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Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30; however, hurricanes have been known to occur outside this six-month window.

People who live in hurricane prone communities should know their vulnerability, and what actions should be taken to reduce the effects of these devastating storms. The information on this page can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.

Family Emergency Plan

Before the Hurricane Season

  • Determine safe evacuation routes inland.
  • Learn locations to official shelters.
  • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered equipment such as cell phones and your NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver.
  • Buy food that will keep and store drinking water.
  • Buy plywood or other material to protect your home if you don't already have it.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery so branches don't fly into your home.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Decide where to move your boat.
  • Review your insurance policy.
  • Find pet-friendly hotels on your evacuation route.

During the Storm

Frequently listen to radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards for official bulletins of the storm's progress. Closely monitor radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards for official bulletins.
Fuel and service family vehicles. Close storm shutters.
Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs. Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
Ensure you have extra cash on hand. Stay with friends or relatives at a low-rise inland hotel or at a designated public shelter outside the flood zone.
Prepare to cover all windows and doors with shutters or other shielding materials. DO NOT stay in a mobile or manufactured home.
Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications. Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
Bring in light-weight objects such as garbage cans, garden tools, toys and lawn furniture. Take pets with you if possible, but remember, most public shelters do not allow pets other than those used by people with disabilities. Identify pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route.


  • Live in a mobile home. They are unsafe in high winds no matter how well fastened they are to the ground.
  • Live on the coastline, an offshore island or near a river or a flood plain.
  • Live in a high rise building. Hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.

This information is courtesy of the NOAA National Weather Service.