Watches & Warnings

Hurricane Watch

A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 36 hours.

  • Bring in outdoor objects such as toys and garden tools
  • Check your family's emergency supplies
  • Fill up your car with gas
  • Listen to a radio or television for official instructions
  • Review evacuation plan
  • Secure buildings
  • Secure outdoor objects which cannot be brought inside, such as boats and lawnmowers
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings

Hurricane Warning

  A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in 24 hours or less.

  • Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light
  • If in a mobile home, check tie downs and prepare to evacuate
  • If power is lost, turn major appliances off to reduce a power surge when electricity is restored
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy
  • Listen to a radio or television for official instructions
  • Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container


If you are asked to evacuate, please keep in mind that the decision was based on your safety.

  • Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm protective clothing
  • Leave as soon as possible - avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges
  • Lock up home and leave
  • Take blankets and sleeping bags to the shelter
  • Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going

Protecting Your Family

Develop a Family Disaster Supply Kit for use in the event you are affected by an emergency. Your kit may include:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes

Protecting Your Home

Your home is one of your most valuable assets. The information provided serves as a guide to help you protect it.

  • Check into flood insurance. There is a 30 day waiting period before a new policy takes effect. Homeowner policies do not cover flooding damage from hurricanes
  • Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is plywood panels, at least 1/2 inch thick, cut to fit each window
  • Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws
  • Remember to mark which board fits which window
  • Trim back dead or weak branches from trees

The Aftermath

After the storm hits, be alert and watch for news from your area.

  • Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately
  • Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water
  • Check refrigerated foods for spoilage
  • Do not move seriously injured persons. Call for help
  • Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges
  • Enter your home with caution
  • Give first aid where appropriate
  • Help injured or trapped persons
  • If you are unsure of the stability of the structure, do not enter
  • Inspect the outside of your home and surrounding area before attempting to enter
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home
  • Return home only after authorities advise it is safe to do so
  • Stay tuned to local radio for information
  • Take pictures of the damage to the house and its contents for insurance claims
  • Use telephone only for emergency calls