Severe Weather: How to Prepare for a Hurricane

When watches, warnings or evacuation orders are issued, you need to know what to do. Review this checklist and stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for updates.

hurricane

Stay Informed

Watch the news if hurricane conditions threaten within 24 to 36 hours.

  • Listen to radio or watch TV for weather updates.
  • Locate your storm readiness kit. Click here to learn what a kit should include and how to prepare your own.
  • Gas up your vehicle in case of an evacuation notice.
  • Fill gas containers for your generator and store in a safe place. Learn more about emergency generators here.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. Learn how to prepare your yard here.
  • Clear your yard of debris.
  • Review evacuation plans.
  • Install storm protection devices such as shutters. Brace entry doors and garage doors.
  • Anchor your boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Learn how to secure your boat here.

Warning

Expect hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) within 24 hours or less.

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  • Listen to radio or watch TV for weather updates and official instructions.
  • Store water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking vessels. Use this stored water for hygiene if the storm interrupts water service. Here are the top 10 emergency water storage containers.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings to keep stored food fresh longer in case of blackout. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
  • Stay inside, away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • Keep flashlights and extra batteries handy. Store in dry areas or containers.
  • If power goes out, unplug appliances, TVs, stereos and computers to reduce potential damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.
  • If in a mobile or manufactured home, check tie-downs and evacuate immediately.

Plus, here are 12 ways to prep your home for hurricane season.

Evacuation

If an evacuation notice is given for your area:

  • Gather insurance documents and prescription medications and add them to your storm kit.
  • Protect your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve. Do not turn off natural gas unless local officials advise it.
  • Tell someone outside of the storm area the location of your safe destination and the route you plan to take to get there.
  • If time permits and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding. Better yet, move it to a higher floor.
  • Lock up your home, grab your emergency car kit and evacuate.

Up next, these are the 14 things you should never do during a power outage.

 Information for this post was made in collaboration with Lowe’s for a severe weather guide.