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Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Hurricanes bring high winds, heavy rain, storm surge (rise in water level), flooding and tornadoes. These storms are dangerous and can cause damage to places far inland. Prepare now so you can stay safe.

What Should You Do Before a Hurricane?

Make plans to stay safe.

Determine your best protection from high winds and flooding. Have a plan to evacuate and a plan to shelter safely. Take time now to gather the supplies and knowledge you will need when the storm arrives.


Plan to Evacuate

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately and go to a safe place.

  • Know where you will go, how you will get there, and where you will stay.
  • Plan well in advance if you will need help leaving or use public transportation.
  • Mobile/manufactured/trailer homes and recreational vehicles (RVs) cannot provide safe shelter from tropical-storm or hurricane-force winds.

Plan to Shelter Safely

  • Be ready to live without power, water, gas, phone, and internet for a long time.
  • Practice going to a designated safe shelter for high winds. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not likely to flood.
  • If you are in an area that is likely to flood, designate a location on higher ground that you can move to before floodwaters reach you.

How Much Do You Know About Hurricane Safety?

Test your knowledge with our quick quiz. You might ace the test or you might learn something new — either way, you win!

What Should You Do During a Hurricane?

If ordered to evacuate, leave immediately.
  • If local authorities advise you to evacuate, go right away.
  • Determine your best protection for high winds and flooding.
  • Take shelter in a designated storm shelter or an interior room for high winds.
  • Stay away from glass windows and doors.
  • Move to higher ground before flooding begins.

How Can You Stay Safe After a Hurricane?

Safety Basics
  • Wait for officials to say it is safe before going back home.
  • Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles, and downed wires. They can electrocute you.
  • Do not touch floodwaters because they may contain sewage, bacteria and chemicals that can make you ill.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage, tent, or camper – or even outside near an open window. Carbon monoxide can't be seen or smelled, but it can kill you fast. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak, get to fresh air right away – do not delay.
How to Clean Up Safely
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment including gloves, goggles and boots.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
  • When cleaning heavy debris, work with a partner. Make sure that you have proper training before using equipment, such as chainsaws.
  • Heart attacks are a leading cause of deaths after a hurricane. Be mindful of overworking.
Tips to Stay Healthy
  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw out food that got wet or warm. Ask your healthcare provider for guidance if you have refrigerated medicines that got warm.
  • Avoid drinking tap water until local officials say it is safe.
Take Care of Yourself
  • It’s normal to have a lot of feelings.
  • Eat healthy food and get enough sleep to help you deal with stress.
  • You can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline for free

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