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Hurricanes are large, violent storms which bring intense winds, heavy rain and storm surge. They can cause floods, coastal erosion, landslides, and tornadoes as well. While it is difficult to predict the exact time, place, and force of hurricanes, residents and visitors of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states must be prepared. The season for hurricanes is June through November, with most hurricanes occurring mid-August to late October. Be sure to check the weather before you travel!


As the Storm Approaches
  • Remember that a Hurricane Watch means the onset of hurricane conditions is possible within 36 hours; a Hurricane Warning means the onset of hurricane conditions is likely within 24 hours.
  • Have a full tank of gas in a vehicle, cash, and your disaster supplies kit ready to go.
  • Make sure every family member carries or wears identification.
  • Listen to the radio or television for current information and be prepared to act quickly.
  • Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water for bathing, flushing toilets, and cleaning, but do not drink this water.
Evacuate if you:
  • Are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • Are in a mobile home, a high-rise building, on the coast, a floodplain, near a river, or an inland waterway, or otherwise feel you will be in danger.
If You Are Told to Evacuate:
  • Don’t delay in evacuating once you get word to leave.
  • Stick to designated evacuation routes. If you need help, this is the most likely place to find it.
  • Take your most reliable vehicle and avoid taking multiple vehicles that create gridlock.
If You Cannot Evacuate and Are Staying:
  • Go to a safe indoor place for refuge, such as an interior room, closet, or hallway. Stay downstairs only if you are not in a flood prone or storm surge area.
  • Do not go outdoors during the storm, even in its early stages. Flying debris is extremely dangerous.
  • Close all doors, brace external doors, stay clear of windows and keep curtains and blinds shut.
  • If necessary take cover under a heavy table, or under something protective.
  • Don’t be tricked by a sudden lull in the storm, it may be the “eye” passing over. The storm will resume.
Immediately After the Storm
  • Use extreme caution going out of doors. Be alert for downed power lines, broken glass, and damage to building foundations, streets and bridges, and coastal or hillside erosion.
  • Keep listening to radio and TV.
  • Watch for closed roads. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, turn back and find a safer route.
  • Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from power lines.
  • Do not drink tap water until you know it is safe.




The Hazard-Specific Information section was created using information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross.