Capital Area Chapter Blog

American Red Cross

Tips for Families to Follow During a Hurricane Watch/Warning

image002It is important that people in the community become familiar with hurricane watch and warning messages and plan ahead to reduce the chances of injury or major property damage. A hurricane watch is issued when weather conditions are favorable for a hurricane to impact a specific geographic area within 36 hours. A warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours or less.

During a hurricane WATCH:

  • Listen for weather updates and hurricane progress reports via crank or battery-operated radio or television. Be prepared to evacuate if local officials advise it.
  • Get a crank or battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Ensure your emergency preparedness kit has the items you need, including a three-day supply of food and water (one gallon per person per day) for evacuation and two-week supply for home , first aid kit, medications (seven day supply), copies of important documents, cash and clothing.
  • Fill vehicles with fuel.
  • Bring in lawn furniture, bicycles, toys, hanging plants, trash cans, garden tools and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Secure your home by closing all windows and doors and then hurricane shutters.  If you don’t have shutters, board up windows and doors with plywood.
  • Remove outside antennas if possible and if it can be done safely.
  • Turn refrigerators and freezers to coldest setting. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.  This will allow perishable food to last longer during a power outage.
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.  Hurricanes can cause water damage inside homes.
  • If you have a manufactured or mobile home, check tie-downs.  They may be less affected by high winds if they are tied down according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

During a hurricane WARNING:

  • Keep the radio or television on and listen for updates as the hurricane can change direction, speed and intensity quickly.
  • If you are advised to leave your home, do so immediately and take your pets with you.
  • If you are advised to remain at home, stay inside, away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Stay in an interior room without windows and with as many walls between you and the outside winds as possible.
  • Secure external doors and close all interior doors. Closed doors will help prevent damaging winds from entering rooms.
  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water to use later to flush toilets and wash up.
  • If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce power surge when electricity is restored. Do NOT use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.

 If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:

  • If time permits, secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
  • Bring your emergency preparedness kit including food, water, prescription medicines and cash.
  • Take warm protective clothing, blankets and sleeping bags.
  • Tell someone outside of your storm area where you are going.
  • Lock your home and leave immediately.
  • Use evacuation routes and avoid flooded roads. Watch for washed-out bridges.


For more information on hurricane preparedness, contact our Chapter at (850) 878-6080 or visit

Image from NASA


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This entry was posted on June 15, 2009 by in Preparedness.

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