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Getting Ready for the Hurricane

Advisories and Warnings...

During the Hurricane...

After the Hurricane has passed...

Hurricane Checklist


Getting Ready for the Hurricane

  • Your annual preparations for the hurricane season should include checking to see that you have a supply of non-perishable food, drinking water containers, candles, waterproof matches, a lantern and fuel, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.

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Advisories and Warnings...

  • The National Weather Service can usually provide 12 to 24 hours of advance warning. Advisories are issued by the Weather Service of NOAA when hurricanes approach land.

  • A "Hurricane Watch" is issued whenever a hurricane becomes a threat to coastal areas. Everyone in the area covered by the "watch" should listen for further advisories and be prepared to act promptly if a hurricane warning or evacuation order is issued.

  • A "Hurricane Warning" is issued when hurricane winds of 74 miles an hour or higher, or a combination of dangerously high water and very rough seas, are expected in specific coastal area within 24 hours. Precautionary actions should begin immediately.

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During the Hurricane...

  • Remain indoors during the hurricane. Blowing debris can injure and kill. Travel is extremely dangerous.

  • Be especially wary of the "eye" of the hurricane. If the storm center passes directly overhead, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from a few minutes to half-an-hour or more. At the other side of the "eye" the winds will increase rapidly to hurricane force, and will come from the opposite direction.

  • Please don't tie up the 911 lines with reports of power outages or fallen trees, limbs, etc. Those types of incidents are expected to happen, so please save the emergency lines for actual emergencies.

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After the Hurricane has passed...

  • If you are in a public shelter, remain there until informed by those in charge that it is safe to leave.

  • Keep tuned to your local radio or television station for advice and instructions from local government about emergency medical, food, housing, and other forms of assistance.

  • Stay out of disaster areas which could be dangerous and where your presence will interfere with essential rescue and recovery work.

  • Do not use the telephone except for rescue, serious injuries or emergencies.

  • Do not drive unless you must. Roads should be left clear for emergency vehicles and debris filled streets are dangerous.

  • Along the coast, soil may be washed from beneath the pavement or bridge supports, which could collapse under the weight of a car.

  • Avoid loose or dangling wires, and report them to your power company or local police or fire department.

  • Report broken sewer, gas, or water mains to the appropriate utility company or service authority.

  • Prevent fires. Do not use candles unless absolutely necessary.

  • Check buildings for possible collapse before re-entry.

  • Hurricanes moving inland can cause severe flooding. Stay away from river banks and streams until all potential flooding is past.

  • If power has been off, check refrigerated food for spoilage. Do not used tap or well water until you are sure it is not contaminated.

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Hurricane Checklist

  • Keep tuned to a local radio or television station for the latest National Weather Service advisories as well as special instructions from local government.

  • Check battery-powered equipment. Your battery-operated radio could be your only source of information, and flashlights will be needed if utility services are interrupted. Buy extra batteries.

  • Keep your car fueled should evacuation be necessary. Also, service stations may be inoperable after the storm strikes.

  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils as your town's water system may be contaminated or damaged by the storm. Obtain extra prescription medications and medical supplies.

  • Board up windows or protect them with storm shutters. Windows are broken mainly from wind-driven debris. Wind pressure may break large windows, garage doors and double entry doors. Do not use particle board to board windows as it may disintegrate in the storm.

  • Secure outdoor objects that might become debris. Garbage can, garden tools, toys, signs, porch furniture, and a number of other harmless items become deadly missiles in hurricane winds. Prior to the storms arrival, go into your yard, look around and ask yourself if I were a hurricane "what could I pick up and blow away?"

  • Moor your boat securely well before the storm arrives, or move it to a designated safe area early. Do not stay on the boat or you may drown.

  • If you live inland away from the beaches and low-lying coastal areas, your home is well constructed, and your local authorities have nor called for evacuation in your area, stay home and make emergency preparations.

  • Be alert for TORNADO WATCHES and WARNINGS as tornadoes are often spawned by hurricanes. Should your area receive a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in an interior bathroom or small hall, preferably below ground level.

  • If you must evacuate your home, do not leave your animals behind. At the first hint of a hurricane, evacuate them to a prearranged safe location if they cannot stay with you during the evacuation period. (Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations.) Keep important pet items, food, medications, leashes and carriers in an accessible place. Planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely. For more information, contact your local Humane Society.

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Tampa, FL 33607

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