Hurricane Guide

Hazards | Safety Tips | Before the Storm | After the Storm | For Your Safety | Older Residents | Disaster Kits | Hazards

A Hurricane can combine storm surge, powerful winds, tornadoes and torrential rains into a disastrous combination

Storm Surge:

A rising of sea level 50 to 100 miles wide that sweeps across the coast close to where the hurricane eye makes landfall. Most hurricane related deaths are caused by drowning, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property


Hurricane winds are in excess of 74 mph and is capable of destroying buildings and homes. Debris can become flying missiles and winds often stay above hurricane strength well inland. It is extremely important to secure your home and cover your windows. Mobile homes are extremely vulnerable to high winds and should be evacuated regardless of where they are located.

Heavy Rains/Floods

Torrential rains in excess of 10 inches can produce destructive floods. this is a major threat to areas well inland.


Hurricanes also produce tornadoes which add to its destructive power.

Safety Tips

  • Refer a hurricane evacuation map. Locate where you live and your evacuation level. Determine if and when you would have to evacuate. REMEMBER: All mobile home resident MUST evacuate
  • Decide now where you would go in an evacuation (friend, relative, shelter or outside the area). If going outside the area leave early.
  • Check your disater supplies kit
  • Make any obvious repairs, tack down loose roofing and siding. Trim dead or broken tree branches
  • If in doubt, contact licensed contractor to inspect the structural integrity of your home
  • Purchase materials to protect your home before the storm; plywood, shutters, protective window film, plastic sheeting, nails etc
  • Purchase battery powered flashlight, radio etc as necessary
  • Inventory your home (a video tape is an excellent idea). Store important papers into a waterproof bag and send to a safe place
  • Make sure your street number is properly marked
  • Review your insurance policy

    Before the Storm

    Preparing for the storm:

  • Listen to local weather updates on the radio/television.
  • Check your Disaster Supplies Kit. Obtain any neded items..
  • Clear your yard of potential flying debris, e.g. lawn furniture, potted plants, etc.
  • Protect your windows and glass doors!
  • Brace double entry and garage doors at the top and bottom.
  • Fill your car's gas tank and check oil, water and tires.
  • Secure your boat early. Drawbridges will be closed to boat traffic after an evacuation order is issued.
  • Leave the swimming pool filled and super-chlorinated. (Cover the filter)
  • Get cash. Banks and ATMs won't be in operation without electricity.
  • If you are instructed to stay home:
  • If you live in a sound structure outside the evacuation area and do not live in a mobile home, you can stay home.
  • Make sure your windows are protected and home is secured.
  • Clean containers for drinking water and your bath tub for storing cleaning water. Line the tub with plastic sheeting or clean shower curtain, or caulk the drain with silicone caulking. Plan on three gallons per person, per day for all uses.
  • Check your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Offer your home as shelter to friends/relatives who live in vulnerable areas or mobile homes.
  • During the storm, stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safe area in your home, an interior, reinforced room, closet or bathroom on the lower floor.
  • If you lose power, turn off major appliances, such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.
  • If you must evacuate:
  • Stay tuned to your local radio and television station for emergency broadcasts. If ordered to evacuate, you must do so immediately.
  • Take your Disaster Supplies Kit with you!
  • Take important papers with you, including your drivers's license, special medical information, insurance policies and property inventories.
  • Let friends and relatives know where you are going.
  • Turn off electricity, water and gas.
  • Lock windows and doors.

    After the Storm

    After the disaster, you may be without power, water, food and any of the services you may normally rely on.


  • Be patient, access to affected areas will be controlled. It could take 2 to 4 weeks to restore utilities
  • Stay tuned to the radio or television for emergency bulletins and aid
  • Have a valid ID. Security operations will have checkpoints. Valid ID with address will be required
  • Avoid driving. Roads will have debris. Don't add to congestion of relief workers
  • Don't sight see, especially at night

    For Your Safety

  • Avoid downed or dangling utility wires especially when cutting or clearing fallen trees. Metal fences may have been energized by fallen wires
  • Beware of snakes, insects or animals
  • Enter your home with caution
  • If there has been a flooding, have an electrician examine your home before turning on breakers
  • Be careful with fire especially if you have a gas line in the house or building
  • Use your telephone only for emergencies


  • DO NOT PLUG generators to building wirings. This could injure or kill neighbors or electrical crews
  • Plug appliances directly into generator
  • Alternate appliances to conserve fuel


  • Make temporary repairs to correct safety hazards
  • Beware of contractor fraud. Hire only licensed contractors
  • Take photographs of damage before repairs for insurance purposes
  • After assessing damage, contact local building department for information on required permits. Permits are always required for any kind of demolition or permanent repairs, reconstruction, roofing
  • Local ordinances do not allow dumping into local canals. Report illegal dumping.

    Water Precautions

  • After flooding, there is always a potential for bacterial contamination. Bateria such as shigella and salmonella can lead to life threatening dehydration. Disinfect any tap water before drinking. You must purify water until officials tell you it is safe not to do so.
  • Bring water to a roiling boil and let it sit for 10 minutes before using. water can be saved in clean containers for 2 to 3 weeks. Be sure to add two drops of chlorine or iodine per gallon before drinking.

    Older Residents

  • Notify your health agency where you will be during a hurricane
  • If you are homebound, contact a physician
  • If you require respirators or other electric dependent medical equipment, you should make prior arrangements with your physician. You should also register, in advance with your local power authority
  • If you need oxygen, check with your supplier
  • If you evacuate, remember to take medications, written instructions regarding your care, your walker, wheel chair, cane or special equipment along with your bedding
  • If your will need assistance in an evacuation, please register NOW with your county Emergency Management Agency.