A hurricane is a very powerful, rotating tropical storm that produces fierce winds, torrential rains and towering waves. Hurricanes develop over large bodies of warm water – including parts of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea – and move generally northward. Although the southern and eastern coastal regions of the U.S. are most vulnerable to the most devastating effects of hurricanes, inland regions can be impacted by the storm’s remnant rains and winds.
Staying safe in a hurricane or windstorm
- Understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch means that a hurricane may occur within the next 24 to 36 hours. A hurricane warning means that a hurricane will probably strike your area within the next 24 hours.
- Prepare a survival kit.
- Plan your evacuation route in advance of the storm.
- Close storm shutters and board up all windows.
- Stock up on drinking water and non-perishable goods.
- Have a supply of batteries as well as flashlights and a portable radio that are in good working condition.
- Review with all family members how to shut off utilities in an emergency.
- Secure all outdoor objects or move them inside.
- Secure your boat or move it to a safer place.
- Fuel your car in case you must leave immediately.
- Listen to the radio for important storm information and instructions.
- If at home, stay inside and away from all windows, skylights and glass doors. Do not go outside, even if the weather appears to have calmed. The “eye” of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume.
- If you must evacuate, leave as soon as possible and be sure to tell someone outside of the storm area where you will be.