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Hurricane Safety Tips

What to do when a hurricane is approaching

Knowing what to do when a hurricane is imminent is just as important as everything you've done to prepare. Hurricane Conditions are established when a tropical storm has sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater. At that point the storm is classified as a hurricane. A Hurricane Watch is issued when hurricane conditions are possible within your area within the next 48 hours. A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected within your area in the next 36 hours. Pay attention to all watches and warnings issued in your area and follow these tips to stay safe as the storm passes overhead:

When a Hurricane Watch Has Been Issued
  • Review your evacuation route(s) and listen to local officials.
  • Charge your cell phone so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.
  • Check the items in your disaster supply kit and add items to meet the household needs for children, parents, individuals with disabilities, and pets.
When a Hurricane Warning Has Been Issued
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects that could become airborne in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans) and anchor other objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks).
  • Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection, but another option is to board up windows with 5/8" exterior grade or marine plywood from your local home supply store.
  • Follow any and all evacuation orders from local officials.
  • Check-in with family and friends to let them know of your plans.
When a Hurricane Is Less Than Six Hours From Arriving
  • If you're not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or in the location where you are. Let friends and family know your whereabouts.
  • Close storm shutters, and lock all doors and windows. Close curtains and drapes and stay away from windows for protection against shattered glass.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary, so your food will last longer if you lose power. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check food temperature when power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV or radio, and check your local government’s website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.