Two keys to weather safety are to Prepare for the risks and to Act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
Please refer to FEMA's website (ready.gov/hurricanes) for comprehensive information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.
Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.
Understand the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings. Understanding the difference is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.
A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!" During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action. Monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.
A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.
Contact Information: keep a list of contact information for reference including Emergency Management Offices; State, County & Local Law Enforcement; Hospitals; Fire & Rescue; Local TV & Radio Stations; Your Property Insurance Agent.
Plan and Take Action
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?
Supplies Kit: Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.
Emergency Plans: Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
Evacuation: Review FEMA's Evacuation Guidelines to allow enough time to pack and inform family and friends if you need to leave your home. Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered.
Information contained herein was used with permission from NOAA.