Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning.

  • A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified watch area within 48 hours.
  • A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected to affect the warning area within 36 hours.

Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan

  • Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places -- a friend's home in another town, a hotel, or a shelter. You should tell a relative or friend outside the area where you plan to go and how you plan to get there.
  • Have a list of important telephone numbers as well as a road map of the area. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and Newscenter 11 for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
Kits should include the following items:

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and a non-electric can opener. Remember the power may be out for several days.
  • At least three gallons of water for each person in your family.
  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. Remember, a professional will need to turn on natural gas service back on.

Prepare For High Winds...

  • Install hurricane shutters or purchase precut one-half inch outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home. Install anchors for the plywood and predrill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly.
  • Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.

When A Hurricane Watch Is Issued...

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and WTOK for up-to-date storm information.
  • Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by wind.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood as described above. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking, so tape is not recommended.
  • Fill your car's gas tank.
  • Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
  • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.

When A Hurricane Warning Is Issued...

  • Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
  • Complete preparation activities.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows.
  • Be aware that the calm "eye" can be deceptive; the storm is not over. Often, the worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the winds before the eye can be broken or destroyed by the winds following the eye.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during a hurricane and after it passes. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.
  • Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and water is rising rapidly around you, get out of your car and head for higher ground.

After The Storm...

  • Keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio and Newscenter 11 for instructions and the updated information.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when local officials tell you it is safe to return.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles.

The above information was provided by the American Red Cross.


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