Hurricane Safety FAQs
Education is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Make a disaster plan with your family, put together a basic supply kit, and prepare your home and property before a warning is issued. Know the warning signs of hazardous tropical storms, how to obtain emergency alerts, and where to evacuate or seek shelter.
When is hurricane season?
- Hurricane season begins June 1st and goes up until November 30th. Peak season runs from late August through September.
When should I start to prepare my home and family for a hurricane?
- The time to start is BEFORE a watch or warning is issued for your area. Hurricane Awareness Week, which occurs in late May before the season starts, is the perfect time to create an emergency family plan or reassess the one you have. Go through your emergency supply kit and replace items that are missing or broken; update your phone with current emergency contacts and family phone numbers. Test flashlights and battery-operated equipment. Make sure your shutters are in working order and you remember how to put them up!
What should I do when a hurricane watch or warning is posted?
- When a watch is issued for your area: double check your supplies, your shutters, and your plans. Get cash out from the bank and put gas in your car. Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for updates. Know possible evacuation routes and destinations.
- When a warning is issued for your area: before the winds get too high, put up your shutters and prepare your yard (and pool if you have one). Lower the temperature of your refrigerator and fill your bathtub and extra jugs with clean water. If you need to evacuate, prepare your property quickly then leave the area with plenty of time. Traffic will pick up immediately once the warning is issued.
Where can I find emergency shelter information?
What do I need for a basic emergency supply kit?
The following items are recommended:
- Water (one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days)
- Food (a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Download the full Emergency Supply list from Ready.gov
How can I preserve clean drinking water during a storm?
How should I plan to keep my pets safe during a hurricane?
- According to the FDA, during and after a natural disaster, water may not be safe to drink. If your tap water cannot be used for drinking:
- Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters.
- If bottled water is not available, boil your water to make it safe. Boiling your water will kill most disease-causing organisms. Boil it for one minute, let it cool, then store in a clean container with a cover.
- If you're unable to boil water, you can disinfect it with household bleach. Add 1/8 teaspoon (about 8 drops) of unscented household (5.25% concentration) liquid bleach for each gallon of water, stir well, then let it sit for a half hour. Store in a clean container with a cover.
- If your property has a well that flooded, you'll need to test your water and disinfect it after the flood waters recede.
- Assemble a hurricane readiness kit for your pet with essential items (food, water, a sturdy leash and a pet carrier if needed for transport).
- Include a current photo of you with your pet in case you’re separated. Store medications and medical records in a waterproof container.
- Know that many emergency shelters do not accept animals - find out ahead of time where you can stay with your pet if you need to evacuate your home. Prepare a list of friends, relatives, or boarding facilities where your pets could be cared for in an emergency.
Where can I find up-to-date weather warnings?
Where can I get more information about hurricanes and hazardous tropical storms?