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Hurricane Preparedness Information


Biloxi Evacuation Map    Gulfport Evacuation Map

Know What a Watch or Warning Means
Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
How to Prepare for High Winds
What to Do When a Hurricane Watch Is Issued
What to Do When A Hurricane Warning Is Issued
What to Do After a Hurricane Is Over

Know What Hurricane WATCH and WARNING Mean
  • WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.
  • WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours.

Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan

  • Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places--a friend's home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
  • If you evacuate out of the area, keep in mind that many others are doing the same and gas stations will run out of fuel within the evacuation zone. Be sure you have a full tank of gas BEFORE you hit the highway.
  • If you have pets, determine a safe place for them BEFORE you evacuate, or even BEFORE there is even a hurricane. Most shelters and many motels do not accept pets. Leaving pets behind can be a traumatic event.
  • Keep enough cash to handle at least of week of spending. Many ATMs may not function after a hurricane, and your hometown bank, if it is shut down after a hurricane, may not allow your ATM card to verify when out of town and not work.
  • Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged. Call friends or relatives early about your plans. Cell phone towers and even land lines may not be functioning after a hurricane. Also, additional cell phone traffic can make it impossible for relatives to call you. Telephone and cell phone traffic can also shut down prior to a hurricane due to high traffic levels.
  • Keep in mind that local evacuation shelters should be considered as only a last alternative. Evacuating to a shelter is not a pleasant experience and it is better to have a location outside the area with family or friends.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Including the Following Items:
For a detailed list...CLICK HERE

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Cash, at least enough for a week. ATM's will likely not function for period after a hurricane.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)

Prepare for High Winds

  • Install hurricane shutters or purchase precut 1/2" outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home. Install anchors for the plywood and predrill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly.
  • Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.

Know What to Do When a Hurricane WATCH Is Issued

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio and TV stations, or stay online via the Internet for up-to-date storm information.
  • Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood as described above. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking, so taping windows is not recommended.
  • Fill your car's gas tank
  • Keep in  mind that if you evacuate, it is likely that many other are doing the same and gas stations within the evacuation zone will likely run out of gas.
  • Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
  • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.

Know What to Do When a Hurricane WARNING Is Issued

  • Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so. (Harrison County Evacuation Map)
  • Complete preparation activities.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
  • Be aware that the calm "eye" is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during a hurricane and after it passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.
  • Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.

Know What to Do After a Hurricane Is Over

  • Keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for instructions.
  • If you evacuated, return home when local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Use flashlights in the dark; do not use candles.
  • Keep in mind that electrical power and water services may be out for weeks after a hurricane.