Preparing for the arrival of a hurricane is very important. Here are some tips.

The Emergency Plan

  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Check the storm surge history and elevation of your area.
  • Listen to weather updates.
  • Know your evacuation route.
  • Organize a place to meet with your family should you become separated during the storm.
  • Find a place to move your boat in an emergency.
  • Park your car in a place that will be safest from falling trees and utility poles.
  • If you are in a high-rise, know the location of the nearest stairway. Don’t use the elevator.
  • Assign roles/responsibilities for hurricane preparedness and evacuation to each member of the household long before actual storm.
  • Establish an evacuation plan and map out exit strategy and route.
  • If your home is at risk, plan in advance where you will stay. Call the ODPEM disaster coordinator for the location of the nearest shelter.
  • If you need transportation to a public shelter due to special needs – such as age, physical disability, or mental disorder, register in advance with the nearest parish council office and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management... READ MORE


  • Look over your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage.
  • Photograph your house and all the rooms inside for insurance purposes.
  • Make an inventory of possessions.

Preparing Your Home

  • Check thoroughly the roof of your house, hurricane shutters, hooks and latches and repair where necessary.
  • Close all windows and doors. Cover windows with storm shutters or pre-cut plywood.
  • Elevate furniture or relocate them to a higher floor to protect from flooding.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest level. Freeze water in plastic containers.
  • Place furniture on raised platform, e.g. building blocks, to prevent flood damage.
  • Sanitize bathtubs and fill with water.
  • Make sure that galvanized sheeting on the roof of your house is properly fastened.
  • Batten down windows and doors with shutters or lumber. Wedge sliding glass doors with a bar.
  • Obtain lumber, plywood, and concrete nails for battening up.
  • Keep in stock extra plastic bags and sheets of plastic. Plastic is essential to prevent important documents, paintings, equipment and furniture from getting wet.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, hanging plants, bicycles, toys and garden tools.
  • Clear your yard and drains of debris.
  • Prune tree limbs that are close to your house. They can cause damage to your home or utility wires during a storm.


  • Minimize the distance you must travel to reach a safe location.
  • Select the nearest possible evacuation destination, preferably within your local area, and map out your route.
  • Choose the home of the closest friend or relative outside a designated evacuation zone, or go to a public shelter or hotel outside of the vulnerable area.
  • Contact your local emergency management office to register or get information.
  • Prepare your home prior to leaving by boarding up doors and windows, securing or moving indoors all yard objects, and turning off all utilities.
  • Before leaving, fill your car with gas and withdraw extra money from the ATM.
  • Take all prescription medicines and special medical items, such as glasses and diapers.
  • If your family evacuation plan includes a boat or trailer, leave early.
  • If you are ordered by local officials to evacuate, do so as quickly as possible. Don’t delay.
  • Stay tuned to a local radio or television station.