How to Prepare For a Hurricane

Sign with a hurricane season warning on it


Storm forecasters do everything they can to predict where a hurricane will land and where it will go, but these storms are unpredictable and can be dangerous. Learn how to prepare for a hurricane and what to do when it's over with this guide on hurricane safety and readiness. 

What Is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is an intense tropical storm with strong winds that form over the ocean and move onto land at speeds over 74 mph. Hurricanes bring heavy rainfall and storm surges that cause devastating coastal flooding, and they can travel up to 200 miles inland. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, commonly known as Hurricane Alley, you should plan and be prepared for a storm. 

What to Do Before a Hurricane

The most important part of preparing for hurricanes is having a plan in place. Discover what it takes to be ready for a hurricane, learn how to protect your loved ones and personal belongings from tropical storms, and get through a hurricane safely.

1. Monitor Official Sources for Storm Warnings

Stay on top of the news during hurricane season checking for weather warnings in your area. News broadcasts and local emergency services will provide updates on impending hurricane activity and help you plan accordingly. You can sign up for alerts on

2. Gather Food and Water Supplies

Most experts recommend having at least 3 to 5 days of food and water if you live in a hurricane-prone area. Canned, dried, and other non-perishable foods are ideal.

3. Keep A "Go-Bag" Packed

Pack an emergency go-bag that you can easily grab to keep with you during the storm. Be sure to include the following items:

  • Flashlights

  • First aid kit

  • Food

  • Bottled water

  • Copies of important documents

  • Extra keys for your house and car

4. Purchase Backup Electricity Options

A backup generator for your home is critical if you live on the Atlantic Coast. Look into options like a hand-crank radio, long-lasting battery-powered lights, and an alternate cooking source for long-term power outages.

5. Develop Evacuation Plans

Create an evacuation plan that includes multiple routes and alternate destinations. Include information on where you will stay and the anticipated costs. Go online and learn more about evacuation zones in your area, and follow evacuation orders when they are given.

6. Registering For Special Needs Assistance

Register with your local emergency management office if anyone in your family has disabilities or special needs. Registration will qualify you for sheltering and transportation programs.

If you registered for emergency assistance, contact local emergency services when you successfully reach your destination. This helps the services accurately report the location of evacuees and send rescue teams where required.

7. Write Down Emergency Numbers and Contacts

Many people rely on their phones to store emergency numbers and contacts, but you can’t trust that your phone will have power during an emergency. Make a list of written numbers in your go bag that includes family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. 

Additionally, designate one out-of-state contact that everyone in your family checks in with in case you are separated during the storm and lose phone service.

evacuation route for hurricane season

Protecting Your Car During a Hurricane

To protect your car from damage during a hurricane, move it into a garage or park it close to a building to protect it from high winds and falling trees. Parking on high ground is also a good idea if your area is in danger of flooding.

How to Pack Your Car for Evacuation

If you’re forced to evacuate, make sure to pack your car with these supplies:

  • Bottled water

  • Non-perishable food and snacks

  • Blankets

  • Road maps

  • Garbage bags

  • Toilet paper

  • Tow rope

  • Jumper cables

  • Gas can

It's a good idea to keep a small portable solar generator or battery jumpstarter handy for these emergencies. You can also use it for recharging your phones and devices, so make sure you have charging cables.

hurricane shutters on home

Preparing Your House for a Hurricane

Whether you’re sheltering in place or evacuating, preparing your house for a hurricane can help keep you safe and minimize damage to your home.

Secure Your Home’s Exterior

Board your windows to keep out wind, water, and debris, and use sandbags at least 2 feet high to prevent flooding around your home.

Prepare Your Yard for a Hurricane

Patio furniture, garbage cans, and potted plants should all be brought inside. Secure with ropes and stakes if you can't bring something indoors. 

Unplug Appliances

Flooding can cause your home’s appliances to short out, so it’s important to unplug all your electrical appliances so they aren't damaged.

Take Pictures and Inventory Your Belongings

Snap a photo of each room in your house and download a free home inventory app to catalog all your belongings. This will make it easier to file a claim with your insurance company after the storm has passed.

Tips to Stay Safe During a Hurricane

Once all your storm prep is taken care of, you must be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Monitor your evacuation zone for warnings and shelter in place while you wait for further instructions. 

  • Stay in a Sheltered Location

If you do not have to evacuate, shelter in place until the storm has passed. During the hurricane, stay away from windows and seek shelter on the lowest floor of your home unless there is flooding.

  • Conserve Power

Plan to conserve power by turning off non-essential lights, appliances, and electronics. Use battery-operated devices sparingly and maintain a stock of fresh batteries.

  • Stay Inside

Wait until the storm has completely passed to go outside. It’s not uncommon for people to get caught in the eye of the storm because they think the worst has passed.  

  • Don’t Drive or Walk in Flooded Waters

Never drive or walk in flooded waters because they can be deeper than you think. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over half of all flood-related deaths are caused by people trying to drive in hazardous flood waters.

  • Drink Bottled Water

Contamination of municipal water sources is common during a storm. Continue to drink bottled water until health authorities let you know your tap water is safe.

  • Follow Evacuation Orders

Stay safe by following evacuation orders. Before leaving your house, secure your home by closing all windows and doors and unplugging electrical appliances. 

How Can Sourgum Help? 

Sourgum Waste has the services and dumpster sizes you need to clean up your home after a hurricane. From 10-yard dumpsters for small amounts of waste to 40-yard containers for larger messes, we have the perfect size for your cleanup needs.

Contact us to learn more about our business and how we can help you get through hurricane season efficiently and easily.

Need Help Cleaning Up After a Storm?

If you and your property have been affected by natural disasters and need help cleaning up, reach out to us for reliable and quick service. We provide affordable dumpster rentals specifically for storm cleanup.

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