Here’s guidance from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help you in case of hurricanes in your area.

  1. Know your area’s risk. Many states or jurisdictions divide localities into zones. Ordered evacuations are listed according to the risks in these zones. Know which zone you live in, evacuation routes from your zone and shelter locations within your zone. You can check this on your state’s emergency management page.


    Virginia , opens new window

    North Carolina , opens new window

    South Carolina , opens new window

  2. Make a plan. Create a plan that includes the steps your family will take in response to a hurricane. This can include shelters, evacuation routes, communication plans and preparedness kits. In areas where hurricanes are common, shelters are pre-established. Learn where they are and how you can get to them.
  3. Recognize warnings and alerts for hurricanes. It is important in all disasters that you recognize your community’s warning system. This is how you will get important notices about evacuations.

    National Weather Service definitions , opens new window

    Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected. These warnings are typically issued 36 hours in advance.

    Storm Surge Warning: Life threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline.

    Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater) are expected within 36 hours.

    Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions (74 mph winds or greater) are possible within your area.

    Storm Surge Watch: Possibility of life threatening inundation from rising water moving inland along the shoreline.

    Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical Storm conditions (sustained winds of 39–73 mph) are possible.

  4. Build a kit. Make sure you have a kit with essential supplies specific for hurricanes. These can include an emergency food and water supply, medicine supply, and emergency power sources such as flashlights and extra batteries.
  5. Prepare your home.
    1. Make sure you don’t have anything outside that could blow around and damage your home. Move lawn furniture, grills and other outdoor items under a shelter.
    2. Consider storm shutters for windows and doors.
    3. Fill clean water containers.

Hurricane Season dates

Atlantic hurricane season: June 1–November 30.

Eastern North Pacific hurricane season: May 15–November 30.

Central North Pacific hurricane season: June 1–November 30.

Disaster checklist

Build your own emergency kit