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What to Do...
Before and During the Storm


  • Frequently listen to radio, TV (local and cable), and 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.


  • Closely monitor radio, TV (local and cable), and 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 (as a last resort) 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. Most public health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters, nor do most hotels/motels allow them.


  • Only stay in a home if you have NOT been ordered to leave. Stay inside a well constructed building. In structures, such as a home, examine the building and plan in advance what you will do if winds become strong. Strong winds can produce deadly missiles and structural failure.
  • Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill bathtub and large containers with water for sanitary purposes.


  • 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 bathroom or closet.
  • If you are in a multiple-story building and away from the 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.


  • 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.  


  • Keep listening to radio, TV (local or cable), and 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 electricity 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. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.