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How Should I Prepare for a Hurricane?

Update your hurricane emergency plan

Hurricane season runs from June through November, with peak season mid-August to late October. Being prepared is your best defense against these strong tropical storms that can cause significant destruction.

Making a plan

  • Determine where you will head if you need to evacuate, such as to a relative, friend or public shelter, etc.
  • Gather your hurricane supplies – see suggested list below.
  • Keep up with the latest storm updates and evacuation orders.
  • Create a list of the specifics of your medication routine.
  • Consult your physician and medical supply vendors to make sure you are prepared for a hurricane and the aftermath once the storm passes.
  • Contact your local emergency information management office if you have any concerns.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets that note your medical condition and/or disability.

Emergency supply list

Stock your home with supplies that may be needed before, during and after a storm. At a minimum, these supplies should include:

  • Water – at least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days
  • Food – enough for at least three to seven days; non-perishable packaged or canned food and beverages, snack foods, juice, foods for infants or those with special diets
  • Manual (non-electric) can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups
  • Grill, cooking tools, fuel, charcoal
  • Clothing – seasonal/rain gear/sturdy shoes or boots
  • Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags
  • First aid kit, prescriptions, medications, sunblock, aloe and bug spray
  • Special items for babies, older adults, persons with disabilities
  • Toiletries – alcohol-based hand sanitizer, hygiene items and sanitation wipes
  • Radio – battery operated or hand cranked radio, NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlights and batteries (do not use candles)
  • Extra house and car keys, office keys and name badge
  • Vehicle – keep your motor vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Cash (banks/ATMs may not be available after the storm)
  • Toys, books, games
  • Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
  • Document all valuables. Take photos or video of items, vehicles and home before the storm.
  • Important documents in a waterproof container/bag – include driver’s licenses, health insurance cards, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security cards, birth and marriage certificates, home insurance policy numbers, passports, etc.
  • Pet care items – pet food and water, proper identification, medical records, a carrier or cage, muzzle and leash, medications
  • List of important numbers – including your country, state and parish emergency management office, evacuations sites, doctors, bank, area schools, veterinarian, etc.

Notes for older adults

  • Stock up on food, water and supplies before the hurricane season begins in June.
  • Have at least a two-week supply of your medications.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Make plans in advance, in case you need to evacuate and if you decide to stay.
  • If you need to evacuate, work with a neighbor, relative or partner to plan and implement your evacuation together.
  • Make plans in advance to stay with friends or relatives living on higher ground.