Hurricanes

Things you can do to prepare for these severe tropical storms.
Hurricanes are Massive Storm Systems

They form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes.

These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.

Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas and areas over 100 miles inland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

 

Plan & Prepare: Basic Preparedness Tips - Preparing Your Home - Storm Notification/Alerts

Palm trees
BASIC PREPAREDNESS TIPS

Know Where to Go

If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

Map

Put together a Disaster Supply Kit

Your disaster supply kit should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.

Take pictures of your important documentation and email them to your secured email to ensure you are able to access them, keep copies and files on a flashdrive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.

If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate, and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

Pet Emergency Kits

In an emergency, your pets will be even more dependent on you for their safety and well-being.

Your family’s disaster plans must include your furry family members too.

Visit Pet Disaster Preparedness to learn what to do to keep your beloved pets safe.

Communicate

Talk with your family about what to do if a hurricane strikes.

Include emergency plans for elderly and disabled family members.

Discussing hurricanes ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children.

Make an emergency communication plan (visit ready.gov Make a Plan) and ensure all household members are aware of the plan.

Cellphone

Register for Emergency Alerts and Notifications

You can get emergency alerts delivered to you via text message, email or fax.

Sign up today at Alert VI.

PREPARING YOUR HOME
  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages.

    Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture.

    NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

    Always ensure generators are operated in a properly ventilated area and NEVER indoors.
STORM NOTIFICATION/ALERTS

Understanding the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.

A Watch

A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!"

  • Watches are issued 48 hrs in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-forced winds.
  • During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action.
  • Monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.

A Warning

A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent

  • A weather hazard is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) or it is about to occur at any moment.
  • Warnings are issued 36 hrs in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-forced winds.
  • During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately.
  • Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for a hurricane by visiting the following resources on external websites: