How should I prepare for a hurricane evacuation?

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Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it. The National Weather Service will issue a hurricane watch when there is a threat to coastal areas of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.

When a hurricane watch is issued, you should:
  • Fill your automobile's gas tank.
  • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
  • Fill your clean water containers. 
  • Review your emergency plans and supplies, checking to see if any items are missing. 
  • Tune in the radio or television for weather updates. 
  • Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals. 
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc. 
  • Secure any items outside which may damage property in a storm, such as bicycles, grills, propane tanks, etc. 
  • Cover windows and doors with plywood or boards or place large strips of masking tape or adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass. 
  • Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Due to food and sanitation requirements, emergency shelters cannot accept animals. 
  • Place vehicles under cover, if at all possible. 
  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing. 
  • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.
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.