Would you leave your home if a hurricane was imminent and you weren’t required by local authorities to leave? If you were required to leave, where would you go and what route would you take? If you decided to shelter in place, what would you need to survive?
Below are some resources to help you prepare.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is an excellent resource to help you think through what you should do before, during and after a hurricane to remain as safe as possible. The document’s last page contains a very helpful hurricane preparedness checklist.
To help you stay safe, the American Red Cross offers a free emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores) that provides safety tips, can help you find open shelter locations and delivers real-time severe weather alerts.
Sign up for weather alerts and warnings from local trusted media or through the American Red Cross emergency app. Additionally, AccuWeather offers free email alerts, and Weather Underground offers free mobile apps. The National Weather Service website provides a list of additional weather alert services, and you can listen to the National Weather Service online.
A hurricane watch means conditions are possible for the development of a hurricane. A watch is issued 48 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected to impact a specified area. You should begin emergency preparations.
A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater) are expected to impact a specified area. A warning is issued 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected to reach the area. You should complete emergency preparations and leave if told by local authorities to do so.
As reference, hurricanes are categorized by their sustained wind speeds, using the Saffir-Simpson scale:
Consider that the effects of tropical weather can be felt not only along coastal regions, but sometimes also inland for hundreds of miles. Water (e.g., storm surge, heavy rainfall and flooding) is often even more devastating than the wind.