What Hurricane WATCH and WARNING Mean
- WATCH: Hurricane conditions are
possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36
- WARNING: Hurricane conditions are
expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24
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:
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
- Protective clothing, rainwear, and
bedding or sleeping bags.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and
- 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
- Keep in mind that electrical power and
water services may be out for weeks after a hurricane.