What to do in a Hurricane

Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1 and ends November 30

Learn what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Before a Hurricane

The most important step is to know what you and your family will do in the event of a hurricane.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends these planning tips:

  • Think about whether you will evacuate or stay at home. Do you live in a hurricane evacuation zone? Find out your zone and your local evacuation route (some roads will be closed or have lanes reversed to ease traffic).
  • Where will you stay? With another family member, relative or friend living in a non-evacuation zone? Or in a hotel or shelter in a location out of the hurricane watch and warning area?


Buy emergency supplies

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated weather radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Essential medicines

During a Hurricane

  • Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safe area in the home (an interior room, a closet or bathroom on the lower level).
  • If flooding threatens a home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
  • If a home loses power, turn off major appliances such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.
  • Do not use electrical appliances without a surge protector.
  • Do not go outside. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction. Also, do not go outside to see “what the wind feels like.” You are likely to be hit by flying debris.
  • Beware of lightning. Stay away from electrical equipment. Don’t take a bath/shower during the storm.

After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Should you have a claim related to a hurricane:
    • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
    • Contact the claims department for your insurance company as soon as possible. The claims department is open 24/7. The sooner you file the claim the sooner someone will be out to your property once the weather conditions permit.
    • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.