| Terms to Know
|• TROPICAL STORM WATCH: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 48 hours.
• TROPICAL STORM WARNING: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 36 hours.
• HURRICANE WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 48 hours. During a hurricane watch, prepare to take immediate action to protect your family and property in case a hurricane warning is issued.
• HURRICANE WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 36 hours. Complete all storm preparations and evacuate if directed by local officials.
• SHORT TERM WATCHES AND WARNINGS: These provide detailed information on specific hurricane threats, such as tornadoes, floods, and high winds.
|During the storm|
|When in a watch area...
Frequently listen to radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins of the storm's progress.
Fuel and service family vehicles.
Inspect and secure mobile home tie-downs.
Prepare to cover all window and door openings with shutters or other shielding materials.
Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.
Prepare to bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, light-weight objects, such as garbage cans, garden tools, etc.
Have on hand an extra supply of cash.
When in a warning area...
Closely monitor radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins.
Complete preparation activities, such as putting up storm shutters, storing loose objects, etc.
Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if told to do so!
If evacuating, leave early (if possible, in daylight). Stay with friends or relatives, at a low-rise inland hotel/motel, or go to a predesignated public shelter outside a flood zone.
Leave mobile homes in any case.
Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
Put food and water out for a pet if you cannot take it with you. Public health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters, nor do most hotels/motels allow them.
|Plan to evacuate if you...
Live in a mobile home. They are unsafe in high winds, no matter how well-fastened to the ground.
Live on the coastline, an offshore island, or near a river or a flood plain.
Live in a high-rise. Hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
If staying in a home...
Set refrigerator to maximum cold. Open only when necessary.
Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities.
Turn off propane tanks.
Unplug small appliances.
Fill bathtub & large containers with water for sanitary purposes.
If you are told to leave, do so immediately!
If winds become strong...
Stay away from windows and doors, even if they are covered. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway.
Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first-floor room, such as a bathroom or closet.
If you are in a multi-story building and away from water, go to the first or second floors and take refuge in the halls or other interior rooms away from windows.
Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
Be alert for...
Tornadoes which often are spawned by hurricanes.
The calm "eye" of the storm. After the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force.
|After the storm|
Keep listening to radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio.
Wait until an area is declared safe before entering.
Roads may be closed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, turn around and go another way!
Avoid weakened bridges and washed out roads. Do not drive into flooded areas.
Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Check gas, water, and electrical lines and appliances for damage.
Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
Avoid using candles and other open flames indoors. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage.
Use the telephone to report life-threatening emergencies only.
Be especially cautious if using a chainsaw to cut fallen trees.