Hazard Information

Hurricanes are products of the tropical ocean and atmosphere. Around their core, winds grow with great velocity, generating violent seas. Moving ashore, they sweep the ocean inward while spawning tornadoes and producing torrential rains and floods. Hurricanes are most threatening to residents along the coastline but such fierce storms have been known to build up enough momentum to carry their destructive winds inland for hundreds of miles.

Important Categorizations

  • A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours.
  • A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours.
  • A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the Warning, usually within 24 hours.

What to Do if You Receive a Hurricane Watch

  • Prepare to bring lawn furniture indoors, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else than can be picked up by the wind.
  • Prepare to cover ALL windows of your home. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking so taping is not recommended.
  • Fill your car's gas tank.
  • Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
  • Check batteries, and stock up on food, drinking water, first-aid supplies, and medications.

What to Do if You Receive a Hurricane Warning

  • Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
  • Complete preparations.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
  • Be aware, 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 that blow from the opposite direction.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during and after a hurricane passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.

What You Can Do to Prepare for a Hurricane

  • Prepare a personal Evacuation Plan
  • Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit
  • Prepare for high winds. Install hurricane shutters or have precut 3/4-inch marine plywood for each window of our home. Install anchors for the plywood and pre-drill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly.
  • Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.

After the Hurricane Passes

  • Keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for instructions.
  • If you are evacuated, return home only when local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Use flashlights in the dark; avoid using candles.