Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
At the start of hurricane season:
- Research and vet restoration companies, and get prices, in advance of or early into storm season. This will help to expedite the repair process and reduce price gouging after the storm. Plus, you can be confident that you will be working with a reputable company.
- Have vegetation trimmed well in advance so no loose branches or plants will be damaged, or cause damage, during the storm.
- Inspect your window protection for rust, damage, missing bolts, etc. (make sure hurricane bolts are easily accessible and not rusted or painted over) and repair immediately.
- Inspect your walls, windows, garage door and roof for conditions that may allow wind damage. Make sure there are no cracks in the stucco and have your roof inspected.
- Call and have someone come out for a home building inspection.
- Find out if you are in an evacuation zone. If so, have your exit plan ready in the event of an evacuation. Learn more here.
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Compile a list of numbers for your local emergency public safety and law enforcement officials.
- If you reside in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
- Gather insurance and all property information to have on hand for claims. FaciliSmart is a great system that helps with this.
- Notify residents of the basic supply kit they should have on hand. Click here for the complete supply list.
- Know where you are going and your exit route should an evacuation notice be issued.
What to do when a storm watch or warning has been issued:
- Bring in patio furniture, toys, trashcans, grill, and other items that have the potential to fly away during strong winds.
- Cover all windows – whether using permanent storm shutters or plywood, be sure to cover all windows to ensure protection. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce garage doors; if wind enters the garage it could cause costly structural damage.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat or jet skis (if applicable)
- Install straps or additional clips to secure your roof to the frame structure.
- Turn off propane tanks
- Be sure your home is stocked with necessary supplies, food, and water. Visit our complete supply checklist to ensure you have everything you need.
What to do during the storm:
- Listen to local radio or television broadcasts to stay up to date on all hurricane related news.
- Turn off utilities (if instructed to do so)
- Turn your refrigerator and air conditioner to the coldest setting.
- Fill your bathtub with water (this can be used to flush toilets later)
What to do after the storm:
- Continue listening to radio and television updates
- Stay alert for additional rainfall and flooding
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
- Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering - the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
- Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
- Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
- Water, one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person who will be with you.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit filled with Band-Aids, cleansing agent, burn ointment, eye wash solution, thermometer, latex gloves, aspirin or other pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacid, laxative, scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, and any prescription medications or equipment you typically use.
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape in the event you need to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, car or solar charger will be useful when there is no electricity
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Important family documents, insurance information, and other important paperwork for your family and your home
- Complete change of clothing (be sure to do all laundry before a storm hits, you may lose power for an extended period of time)
- Fire extinguisher
- Candles and a lighter or matches (place matches in a waterproof container)
- Disposable plates, cups, utensils
- Books, games, puzzles (especially if you have children)
- Infant formula and food (if you have a baby)
Download your hurricane tracking maps here: