Be sure to have a disaster kit with emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, garbage bags and more.


  • Take pictures of your home (both interior and exterior) for your insurance company.
  • Protect areas where wind can enter. Windows and doors should be secured with storm shutters. Another option is to board up windows with 5/8-inch plywood. Tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking.
  • Protect electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.
  • Bring in lawn furniture or other outdoor items not tied down that could become airborne.
  • Withdraw cash from the bank and get fuel for your vehicle, generator and other gas-powered tools.
  • Have battery-powered light sources available and ready for use.
  • If power is lost, lighting will be poor inside, so keep heavy-traffic areas free of clutter. 
  • Repair or replace broken or damaged fences.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris.
  • Inspect the roof for loose tiles, shingles or debris.
  • Make sure you have homeowners, flood and wind insurance.
  • Make bed rolls from your existing comforters and blankets.
  • If you will be evacuating your home for the storm, turn off the power at the main circuit breaker before leaving.

Prepare Windows and Doors
  • Windows and doors should be secured with storm shutters or by boarding up windows with 5/8-inch plywood. Inspect existing shutters to ensure they are in good working order. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Once your windows and doors are shuttered or boarded, it will be more difficult to get out in the case of an emergency, so make sure that you and everyone in the house is aware of the available exits.
  • Metal hurricane shutters are reliable and economical, and you can choose from several different types. Each type has its sets of pros and cons, so be sure to do your research before committing to a type of metal hurricane shutters.
  • Windows with impact-resistant glass have become more common over the years, and the technology has improved to the point that they can withstand Category 5 wind conditions. Impact-resistant glass is expensive, but it can also help reduce insurance costs.
  • Be sure to reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace with a hurricane-tested door.

Prepare Your Boat
  • If you own a boat, remember to secure it properly well before a storm approaches. Use double lines at a marina or consider dry-dock storage. Never try to ride out a hurricane in your boat.
  • Consolidate all records, including insurance policies, a recent photo of your vessel, boat lease agreement with the marina or storage area, and telephone numbers of appropriate authorities.
  • Evidence shows that boats stored on land fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water.
  • Trailer boats should be removed from the water and securely stored at least 48 hours before a hurricane is expected to make landfall.
  • Moor the boat in a previously identified safe area.
  • Purchase necessary hurricane materials such as additional mooring lines, crew anchors, fenders, fender boards, chafing gear and anchors.
  • After you have made anchoring or mooring provisions, remove all moveable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, cushions, Biminis and roller furling sails.

Prepare Your Business
  • Back up critical computer data and store it off premises.
  • Make a complete inventory of your business and take plenty of pictures.
  • Make sure employee emergency contact information is up to date, and that you have an employee communication plan in place, which includes a designated out of town phone number where employees can check in and receive company information.
  • Create procedures for hurricanes so employees will know what to do and post them in advance.
  • Protect electronic equipment from possible water damage.
  • Have extra cash and blank checks in case extra money is needed after the storm.
  • Establish a temporary location for business operations in case your facility is damaged.
  • Identify a safe room for employees who must remain in the building.
  • Give employees enough time to secure their homes and families.
  • Secure the building and items that cannot be brought inside.

In the event of a tropical storm warning or hurricane watch, licensed contractors are obligated to secure their work sites. Potentially hazardous objects must be fastened down or removed.

Listen to announcements from your hotel, cruise line or airline. Be sure to follow any orders issued by local officials, such as evacuation and sheltering.


Rather than buying bottled water, invest in plastic water containers for your family.

  • Fill aluminum or plastic containers with potable water once a hurricane warning is announced. Plan for at least one gallon per person, per day for three to seven days. In addition, keep other containers two-thirds full with potable water and place them in your freezer for ice after a storm.
  • Before filling your water containers, wash them out with soap and water and rinse them well. Next, fill the container with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented household chlorine bleach — the kind used for laundry — per gallon of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour out the solution and rinse the container.
  • Keeping water stored for too long could attract harmful bacteria and make the water taste stale, so wait until a hurricane warning is announced.
  • Plastic water containers are available in a variety of sizes, from four to 10 gallons or more, and some are collapsible or can be folded easily for storage. They're built to last for years, so you'll save money in the long run.


  • Store fuel in an approved container, holding five gallons or less, in a cool, dry, ventilated and secure area, away from appliances. Keep it out of the reach of children.
  • Generators must only be operated outside of inhabited structures in a well ventilated area away from windows, doors, vents or other openings. They should NOT be operated on the balcony of a multi-unit structure.

Prepare Waste Disposal

  • Dispose of household and yard trash before a storm
  • Landscapers and residents should not blow grass clippings onto sidewalks, streets and storm drains, which can lead to street flooding. Instead, they should be bagged or blown back onto the lawn where they can serve as natural mulch.
  • Secure your trash and recycling carts in a garage, utility shed or covered patio.
  • Do not begin any tree pruning or cleanup activities, or place trash on the curb, during a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning.

Pet Preparedness
  • Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Whatever plans you make for yourself, remember to include your pets. If you're riding out the storm in the home of a family member, friend or neighbor, take your pets with you.
  • If you stay at home, remember to stay together. Keep your pet in a crate or carrier and find a safe area where you will all be together. Keep their collar and tag on in case you get separated.
  • Before disaster strikes, pet owners are encouraged to be prepared before, during and after a disaster.

Pet Supply and equipment checklist:
 Dry/Wet food for at least 2 weeks
 Manual can opener for canned food
 Two weeks supply of water
 Bowls
 A portable carrier, for each pet, large enough to
stand and turn around in
 Dog leash and muzzle if required
 Dog license/ID on collar
 Proof of vaccines
 Medications
 Litter scooper
 Paper towels
 Disinfectant
 Hand Sanitizer
 Toys