Hurricane: During the Storm
If a watch is issued
- Fill your vehicles with gas.
- Get extra cash.
- Fill prescriptions.
- For mobile homes, secure tie-downs and prepare to evacuate when ordered.
- Bring in loose objects from outside.
If a warning is issued
- Secure all windows with shutters or plywood.
- Place valuables and important papers in a waterproof container and store them on the highest floor of your home.
If you are advised or ordered to evacuate
- Follow all directions and orders from local officials, and leave immediately when instructed to do so.
- Bring emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, medicines, food, water, formula and diapers, toiletries, cell phones, radios, and batteries.
- Bring extra cash and copies of important papers such as insurance policies.
- Bring blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games.
- Unplug appliances, turn off utilities such as electricity and the main water valve.
- Lock the windows and doors of your home.
If you are not told to evacuate
- Stay at home! Leave the roads available for those who must evacuate.
- Clean your bathtub with bleach and fill it with water for washing and flushing (not drinking).
- Set your refrigerator to maximum cold and keep it closed.
- Turn off your utilities if told to do so by local officials.
During the storm
- Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors, even though they’re covered.
- During very strong winds, lie under something sturdy.
- Do not go outside, including during passage of the eye of the hurricane.
Know your terms
The National Hurricane Center issues coastal watches and warnings for tropical storms and hurricanes. Local National Weather Service forecast offices issue tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings for inland areas, using the same wind criteria and lead times described below.
- Tropical storm watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
- Tropical storm warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
- Hurricane watch: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of winds of tropical storm force.
- Hurricane warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of winds of tropical storm force.
In addition, these local National Weather Service offices will issue an Extreme Wind Warning when sustained surface winds of 115 mph or stronger are occurring or are expected to occur in the specified area within one hour, as a result of a hurricane of Category 3, 4, or 5.