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Hurricane Tips

Hurricane Impacts: Know the Risks

A hurricane is a storm that forms over warm ocean waters and has sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. Threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. Hurricanes can affect areas more than 100 miles inland. Learn about the risks in your area here.

FEMA and the CDC have updated their safety guidelines if an event requires you to evacuate. Please review those guidelines here.

Stay Safe, Stay Prepared for Hurricanes

  • Pay attention to emergency information and alerts. Have several ways to receive warnings and alerts from the National Weather Service and your local officials. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radios also provide emergency alerts. Turn on Wireless Emergency Alerts in your smartphone settings.

  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for signs such as heavy rain.

  • Practice going to a safe shelter, such as a FEMA safe room or storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.

  • Note that your regular shelter may not be open this year. Check with local authorities for the latest information about public shelters.

  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering-in-place.

  • Know your evacuation zone. Due to limited space as a result of COVID-19, public evacuation shelters may not be the safest choice for you and your family. 

  • If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone, talk with your friends and family to see if you can shelter with them. Only evacuate to shelters if you are unable to shelter at home or with family or friends.

  • If you must evacuate to a public shelter, try to bring items that can help protect you and others in the shelter from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, cleaning materials, and two cloth face coverings per person. Follow CDC guidelines to prevent illness or exposure.

  • If you see a downed line, keep everyone away and call us at 1-800-867-5222  immediately. Always use extreme caution near wires and power lines ‒ for your own safety, assume they are live and deadly. Never touch downed power lines or anything that is coming into contact with fallen lines.
    • Never walk beneath overhead equipment, lines or wires near a downed line.
    • Never touch someone who is being electrically shocked.