Hurricane Watch: Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

Prepare now to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home

We talk a lot about making sure you’re taking care of the four Ps (people, pets, pipes, and plants) when it comes to inclement winter weather, but what about when it’s summertime? Hurricane Season sure isn’t something to be messed with, or you could find yourself in a situation that you’d wish you weren’t in. With Hurricane Season officially starting in a week, it’s important you’re ready and have a plan for evacuation and to shelter safely. Being prepared is one of the best, most effective ways to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to stay safe.

While you may think hurricanes only affect those living along the coast, damages can actually occur far inland too. They bring high winds, heavy rain, storm surges, flooding, and tornadoes.

Paying attention to emergency information and alerts to stay informed is extremely important. If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone and officials are saying to evacuate, do so immediately.

Simple hurricane preparedness tips:

  • Make an emergency plan and ensure everyone in your household knows it
  • Know what your evacuation routes are
  • Visit for the latest information on road conditions
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away
  • Put together a disaster supply kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information
  • Charge all electronics including your cell phone and any back-up charging devices you might have
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm; put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
  • Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors
  • If you are told to evacuate, you might be able to find a local shelter through the Red Cross

Ways to prepare your home:

  • Cover your windows with wood and reinforce your garage doors
  • Clean and declutter your drains and rain gutters
  • Bring any outside furniture inside
  • Consider hurricane shutters
  • Review your insurance policies and make sure personal documents (like ID) are up to date

Protect Pets/Livestock:

  • Make sure your pets or livestock are up to date on vaccinations
  • Stock up on basic food and medical supplies
  • Prepare barns and pets ahead of a storm; be sure to fix loose items, removing wire and other potentially dangerous objects.
  • Consider evacuating livestock ahead of a storm and/or bring smaller animals inside

You can find some great ways to help recover after a disaster like a hurricane by visiting the Recovery section of the Red Cross website. They provide information on steps to follow after the hurricane and how to stay safe while moving forward. While hurricanes cannot be prevented, forecasting does allow us to have some advance notice for these dangerous storms. Taking steps ahead of one can help protect what’s most important.

Learn what to do before, during, and after a hurricane by visiting: