How should I prepare for a hurricane?

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Following are some things you can do to prepare for a hurricane:

  • Make sure you have your prescribed medications, first-aid kits, canned foods, batteries, flashlights and containers full of drinking water at the ready.
  • Make sure you have at least a three-day supply of food, water and other essentials for every member of your household.
  • Remember the importance of safety when preparing a home before the storm, especially when putting up shutters or moving large items around the home. After the storm is when most of the area’s emergency rooms become busy with injuries that can be avoided.

If you are under a hurricane watch or warning, here are some basic steps to take to prepare for the storm:

  • Learn about your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters. 
  • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the hurricane strikes. Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials. 
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it. 
  • Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc. 
  • Post emergency phone numbers at every phone. 
  • Inform local authorities about any special needs, i.e., elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability. 
  • Make plans to ensure your pets’ safety.

The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.