Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. (SEE Pet Plan)
Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit. (See Disaster Kit List)
Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. If your family
hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location, then it is important to consider the following points:
If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure.
If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.
Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location.
In choosing your destination, keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to be filled very quickly in a large, multi-county hurricane evacuation event.
If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic.
The large number of people in this state who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times.
If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season.
If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave.
Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for your area or county, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways and in major metropolitan areas.
If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter.
Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets. Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter. Find pet-friendly hotels and motels.
Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.