Find out if your home is located in a hurricane evacuation zone, then read the definitions below to understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning.
Be sure your family is prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms - as for any kind of severe weather.
A Hurricane Watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a real possibility for the area within 24-36 hours. What you should do:
- Monitor storm's progress on radio or TV.
- Get a battery-powered radio and flashlight.
- Make sure you have sufficient canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medication on hand.
- Fuel your car.
Residents in low-lying areas should also:
- Plan an evacuation route and destination and be prepared to evacuate upon the recommendation of local officials.
- Know how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home.
- Secure credit cards and cash. Check your "Go Bag."
- Make plans to care for your pets because they are not allowed into public shelters for health reasons.
A Hurricane Warning is issued when a hurricane is expected within 24 hours. Begin precautionary action at once. What you should do:
- Follow instructions issued by local officials. They will inform you if you have to evacuate.
- Make arrangements for the elderly and others with special needs.
- Secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Moor any boats securely.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- If conditions are expected to be severe, protect your windows with boards, shutters, or tape.
- Know who to call if your power goes out.
- Plan an evacuation route and destination.
If you live in a low-lying coastal area, you may be directed to evacuate. If so, comply immediately.
- Make arrangements to stay with friends or family outside the affected area whenever possible.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
- If necessary, bring clothing, bedding, bathing and sanitary supplies, medications and your "Go Bag."