Hurricanes and tropical storms occur most often during the months of June to November. The intensity of a hurricane is ranked between 1 and 5, based on wind speed. Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricanes are considered extremely dangerous, with wind speeds of 111 mph or more.
Prepare for a hurricane by having emergency supplies on hand, including sandbags, rain suits and ponchos, chargers and generators, and first aid kits. Establish an emergency plan, including a plan for evacuation, before a hurricane strikes. Learn about your area’s hurricane response plans, and identify evacuation routes and local shelters.
If you are on “hurricane watch,” a hurricane is possible within the next 48 hours. It’s important to stay informed. Use portable radios to get news and weather reports. Cover windows with acrylic sheets and secure outdoor furniture and objects with bungees, tie-downs, and straps. Obey any evacuation orders and avoid flooded roads. If you cannot evacuate, take shelter on the lowest level in a small interior room, such as a closet or hallway.
Once the hurricane has passed, and everyone is safe, you may be faced with property damage. You'll want to start cleanup as soon as possible. Wear protective clothing to avoid injuries and check for structural problems before entering any building. You might find downed power lines or gas leaks that need immediate attention. Have battery-powered flashlights, proper lockout/tagout supplies, and bottled water available; tap water may be contaminated after a storm. Continue listening to the radio for any updates on cleanup efforts and instructions from local authorities.