During a Hurricane
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with torrential rains and sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater which blow in a counter-clockwise direction around a center "eye". Winds can exceed 155 miles per hour and severely effect areas hundreds of miles inland.
As hurricanes approach the coast, a huge dome of water called a storm surge crashes into the coastline, causing major damage to everything in its path. About nine out of ten people killed in hurricanes are victims of the storm surge. Hurricanes also spawn tornadoes and cause severe flooding from heavy rains.
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
What to do if evacuation is necessary:
Leave as soon as possible (if possible, in daylight). Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Evacuation will probably take longer than expected. Give yourself plenty of time. Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve. This will reduce potential damage to your appliances (from power surges) and to your home.
Tell someone outside of the storm where you are going. Relatives and friends will be concerned about your safety. Letting someone know your travel plans will help relieve his or her fears and anxiety.
If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone or area prone to flooding, move furniture to a higher floor. Moving valuable furnishings helps reduce potential damage. Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm protective clothing. People frequently arrive at shelters with nothing.
Having these items will make you more comfortable. While shelters provide a safe place to stay and food, specialty items for infants and individuals on restricted diets may not be available. It may take several days until permission is given by local authorities to re-enter an evacuated area.
Bring these items with you to a shelter:
Lock up your home and leave. There may be individuals evacuating after you, or returning before you. Police may be busy with hurricane-related emergencies and not able to patrol neighborhoods as usual. Lock your property as you normally would when leaving home.