What to do during a hurricane watch

What to do during a hurricane watch

    • Continue listening regularly to your local radio or television station for updated information. A  Hurricanes can change direction, intensity, and speed very suddenly. A  What was a minor threat several hours ago can quickly escalate to a major threat.


    • Listen to the advice of local officials, and evacuate if they tell you to do so. A  Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-our bridges. A  Leaving an area that may be affected will help keep your family safe. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community. A  Following the advice of local authorities is your safest protection. A  Local officials may close down certain roads, especially near the coast, when the outer effects of increasing wind and rain from a hurricane reach the coast.


    • Prepare your property for high winds. A  Hurricane winds can blow large, heavy objects and send them crashing into homes. A  Anything not secured may become a deadly or damaging projectile. A  Bring lawn furniture inside, as well as outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, or anything else that can be picked up in the wind. A  Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, and then strategically remove branches so that wind can blow through. A  Secure building by closing and boarding up each window of your home. A  Remove outside antennas. A  Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. A  Use rope or chain to secure boat to trailer. A  Use tie-downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house.


    • Fill your car's gas tank. A  If advised to evacuate, you may have to travel long distances or be caught in traffic, idling for long periods of time. A  Gas stations along the route may be closed.


    • Stock up on prescription medications. A  Stores and pharmacies may be closed after the storm.


    • Check your disaster supplies kit. A  Some supplies may need to be replaced or restocked.


    • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting. A  Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly. A  Keeping the coldest air in will help perishables last much longer in the event of a power failure.


    • Store valuables and personal papers in a safety deposit box in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home. A  Hurricanes leave much water damage inside homes. A  Historically, it is shown that protecting valuables in this manner will provide the best security.


    • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities. A  Authorities may ask you to turn off water or electric utilities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. A  Most of the time they will tell you to leave the gas on because a professional is required to turn your gas back on, and it may be several weeks before you receive service.


    • Turn off propane tanks. A  Propane tanks may be damaged or dislodged by strong winds or water. A  Turning them off reduces the fire potential if they are damaged by the storm.


    • Unplug small appliances. A  Small appliances may be affected by electrical power surges that may occur as the storm approaches. A  Unplugging them reduces potential damage.


    • Review evacuation plan. Make sure your planned route is the same as the currently recommended route. Sometimes roads may be closed or blocked, requiring a different route.


  • Stay away from flood waters. A  If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. A  When you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, if you can do so safely, get out of your vehicle and climb to higher ground. A  Floods cause most hurricane-related deaths, and most flood fatalities are caused by people attempting to drive through water. A  The depth of water is not always obvious. A  The roadbed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped. A  Rapidly rising water may stall the engine, engulf the vehicle and its occupants, and sweep them away. A  Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles.