It is crucial to prepare for a hurricane before it hits. Preparation includes having a plan, ensuring you have enough supplies, and staying informed about the storm.

The first thing that you should do when preparing for a hurricane is to create an emergency plan. This should include where you will go if the storm is too dangerous, who will take care of your pets, and what items you need to bring. The next step is to ensure that you have all the supplies needed in case of an emergency – like food and water. Finally, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on the storm to know when it’s safe to leave your home or what precautions need to be taken.

Will you leave or stay for the hurricane?

When deciding whether to stay at home or evacuate for a hurricane, it is vital to consider the level of risk you are willing to take. The decision will differ for everyone, but some general guidelines can help.

Does your neighborhood flood frequently?

You should be aware of any areas in your neighborhood that might flood.

If your neighborhood frequently floods during smaller storms, consider preparing your home for a flood by installing sandbags and moving any critical documents or valuable items to higher ground.

If you’re in an area with a high risk of flooding and the storm is expected to produce much rainfall, it might make sense to evacuate after you have protected your home.

Is your home protected from wind damage (hurricane protection)

With Hurricane season in full swing, it’s important to know what you can do to protect your home from the inevitable damage a hurricane can cause. You first need to determine if your home has been built with hurricane protection features.

Ensure that your windows and doors are fitted with impact-resistant glass or hurricane shutters. These two features will help keep wind and water out of your home during a storm while also keeping the pressure inside manageable.

When windows are broken during a hurricane, it can cause positive pressure to build up within the home and potentially lift the roof off the home.

Where will you go if you evacuate?

People often wonder where they should go when evacuating from a hurricane. The answer is different for everyone, but the general advice is to go to an area outside the storm’s impact.

Stay at a hotel

Find a hotel where the hurricane is not expected to hit. However, this might require you to pay for your stay in advance, and if you are staying close to home, many hotels may already start to fill up as others evacuate for the hurricane. You may also have trouble finding a hotel that accepts pets or children. If you do find one, it may be expensive and may not offer some essential amenities.

Stay with family

First, ensure that you enjoy their company because it may be challenging to get back into your town if there is a lot of debris or flooding on the roads. Also, make sure your family is aware that it could be up to a week or two before you may be able to return home. While staying with family is generally cheaper, years of therapy afterward may prove more expensive.

If you evacuate for a hurricane, will you bring your pets, or leave them with family/friends or a shelter?

Pets are an essential part of the family, but when a hurricane looms on the horizon, people have to decide if they should bring their pets with them or have someone sheltering-in-place watch over them.

It can be challenging to evacuate from a hurricane with a pet, as not many hotels will accept larger pets.

If you have family or friends that will not evacuate, ask if anyone will keep an eye on your pets for you or see if any local shelters are taking in pets during the storm.

Check the weather forecasts and ask about the hurricane protection features in the area where you will leave your pet, as flooding and wind damage can still be a danger to your pets.

What to bring with you when evacuating a storm

If you are evacuating from a hurricane, it is essential that you bring the following things with you:

  • Any important documents (birth certificate, insurance, deed of your home, etc.)
  • Non-perishable food, water, and snacks for 2 days,
  • Cell phone, wallet, keys.
  • Enough cash for 5-7 days of living expenses (when you return, some places can still be without power)
  • Any expensive items could get damaged or stolen during or after the storm.

View our hurricane preparedness guide for more information.

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