Issues to consider before, during and after a hurricane, provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service:

  • Before storm season, hurricane belt residents should trim back dead wood, secure rain gutters and spouts, and stock wood to cover windows.
  • Determine escape routes from your home to places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles, rather than hundreds of miles.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • When a hurricane watch is issued, make sure automobiles are fueled, mobile homes are tied down and supplies (batteries, flashlights, bottled water, canned goods, radio, etc.) are plentiful. Windows should be protected.
  • Individuals must decide whether to evacuate as a hurricane approaches. However, it is recommended to leave if local authorities call for an evacuation. Residents near the coast, in flood plains or in mobile homes always should plan to leave.
  • Before evacuating, shut off water at the main and power at the fuse box. Unless arrangements have been made for pets, food and water should be left behind (shelters don't accept animals).
  • Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines, and have a current photograph.
  • Those choosing to ride out the storm should move valuables to upper floors if possible, fill containers or tubs with several days' worth of drinking water, turn refrigerator to coldest setting and stay indoors on the downwind side of house, away from windows.
  • Beware the eye of the storm. Live power lines, rising water and unstable trees and structures continue to be threats despite the temporary calm.
  • Once the all-clear is sounded, be wary of high water or power lines when driving. Report damaged water, sewer and electrical lines. At home, check for gas leaks and spoiled food or water.