Overview

Hurricanes typically come with lots of warning and thus provide plenty of time to prepare. In recent history, the United States has witnessed both Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy destroy large metropolitan areas and claim many victims. The following are definitions regarding hurricanes.

Tropical storm watch — Issued by the National Weather Service when winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible in the area within 48 hours

Tropical storm warning — Issued by the National Weather Service when winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected in the area within 36 hours

Hurricane watch — Issued by the National Weather Service when winds of 74 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours

Hurricane warning — Issued by the National Weather Service when winds of 74 mph or greater are expected in the area within 36 hours

Procedures

Actions to take leading up to and during a Hurricane:

  1. Monitor local media and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website for instructions and tips
  2. Locate or create an emergency kit to include:
    1. Bottled water (have enough to last you several days)
    2. Flashlights
    3. Battery-operated radio or television
    4. Extra batteries
    5. Canned food and can opener
    6. Dry food (bread, peanut butter, crackers, etc.)
    7. Blankets and pillows
    8. Cash
    9. Battery and car charger for cell phone
  3. Secure your area by closing all windows, window shades, blinds, or curtains
  4. Close all interior doors and close and secure/brace all exterior doors
  5. Find shelter in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level
  6. Stay away from all windows and glass doors
  7. Lie on the floor under a table or some other sturdy object
  8. Turn off ALL utilities when instructed to do so, otherwise turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coolest setting and shut the door
  9. Keep a supply of water for sanitary purposes

Evacuate during the following conditions:

  1. When directed by local authorities
  2. If you live in a mobile home or unsafe temporary structure
  3. If you live on the coast, floodplain, inland waterway or near a river
  4. If you feel you are in danger

Additional Resources

For more information about hurricane safety and preparedness check out this guide by Red Cross.