Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

The following information is provided by the American Red Cross.

Know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning.

  • A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. When a Hurricane Watch is issued, review your hurricane plans, keep informed and be ready to act if a warning is issued.
  • A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. When a Hurricane Warning is issued, complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.

Hurricane Supplies Check List

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one
    gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of
    non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
    (NOAAWeather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical
    items (hearing aids with extra batteries,
    glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
    (medication list and pertinent medical
    information, proof of address,
    deed/lease to home, passports, birth
    certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby
    food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food,
    carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage

    What to do when a hurricane threatens...

    • Listen to a NOAAWeather Radio for
      critical information from the National
      Weather Service (NWS).
    • Check your disaster supplies and
      replace or restock as needed.
    • Bring in anything that can be picked up
      by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
    • Close windows, doors and hurricane
      shutters. If you do not have hurricane
      shutters, close and board up all
      windows and doors with plywood.
    • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the
      coldest setting and keep them closed as
      much as possible so that food will last
      longer if the power goes out.
    • Turn off propane tanks and unplug
      small appliances.
    • Fill your car’s gas tank.
    • Talk with members of your household
      and create an evacuation plan.
      Planning and practicing your
      evacuation plan minimizes confusion
      and fear during the event.
    • Learn about your community’s
      hurricane response plan. Plan routes to
      local shelters, register family members
      with special medical needs as required
      and make plans for your pets to be
      cared for.
    • Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be
      careful to avoid flooded roads and
      washed out bridges.
    • Because standard homeowners
      insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s
      important to have protection from the
      floods associated with hurricanes,
      tropical storms, heavy rains and other
      conditions that impact the U.S. For
      more information on flood insurance,
      please visit the National Flood
      Insurance ProgramWeb site at

      What to do after a hurricane...

      • Continue listening to a NOAAWeather
        Radio or the local news for the latest
      • Stay alert for extended rainfall and
        subsequent flooding even after the
        hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
      • If you evacuated, return home only
        when officials say it is safe.
      • Drive only if necessary and avoid
        flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
      • Keep away from loose or dangling
        power lines and report them
        immediately to the power company.
      • Stay out of any building that has water
        around it.
      • Inspect your home for damage. Take
        pictures of damage, both of the building
        and its contents, for insurance
      • Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT
        use candles.
      • Avoid drinking or preparing food with
        tap water until you are sure it’s not
      • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If
        in doubt, throw it out.
      • Wear protective clothing and be
        cautious when cleaning up to avoid
      • Watch animals closely and keep them
        under your direct control.
      • Use the telephone only for emergency

      Let Your Family Know You’re Safe
      If your community has experienced a hurricane, or any disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Web site: If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.

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