National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

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 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 and in daylight (if possible). Stay with friends or relatives, at a low-rise inland hotel/motel or (last resort) go to a predesignated public shelter outside a flood zone.

  • Leave mobile homes.

  • Notify neighbors and family members outside the warned area of your evacuation plans.

  • Take your pet with you if at all possible. If not possible, put food and water out for a pet. Most public health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters.




  • Only stay in a home if you have NOT been ordered to leave. Stay inside a well constructed building. Examine the building and plan in advance what you will do if winds become strong. Strong winds can produce structure failure and debris that turns into deadly missiles.

  • Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.

  • Turn off utilities if told 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 2-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 floor and take refuge in the hall or other interior room (away from windows).

  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object




  • Live in a mobile home (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 of 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.