Getting Ready for the Storm


Residents are urged to develop a disaster preparedness plan before an emergency strikes. Plan in advance where you will stay, how you will get there, and what supplies you will take. As part of your plan, you should have an emergency supply kit ready. When you return to the city, you may not have electricity or water for weeks. Consider the needs of elderly and infant family members and pets.

  • Make prior arrangements with friends or relatives living in a non-evacuation area or check into a hotel located inland; or, as a last resort, use a public shelter.
  • Send a list of friends' and neighbors' telephone numbers and copies of important papers to family members in another city.
  • Tell family, neighbors, and service agencies where you would go to stay in an emergency.
  • Have a transportation plan for emergencies.
  • Have a plan to secure your boat or take it elsewhere.
  • Review your insurance policies to ensure that you are fully covered. Insurers cease issuing policies when tropical systems are within the quadrant.
  • Inventory and take photos of your property and valuables, and store these photos and other important documents in a waterproof container and take with you when evacuating.
  • Practice your Disaster Plan.

Check out the NC Hurricane Preparedness Plan here.


  • Inspect your roof
  • Trim trees
  • Update insurance coverage
  • Check your shutters (practice installing especially if you bought a new home or new shutters)
  • Test your generator and chainsaw for proper operation.
  • Before Evacuating Secure Your Home/Condo/Apartment/Business
  • Take down and bring in any signs, tables, garbage cans, plants, furniture, umbrellas, and other loose and/or unsecured structures from outdoors, including all balconies.
  • Board up windows and glass doors. (Do NOT tape windows and do not leave any windows or doors ajar).
  • If you live in an apartment or condo, securing your windows and doors will minimize damage to your unit; however, unsecured windows and doors of neighboring units can cause damage to your unit too. Please keep this in mind when preparing your home before evacuating.
  • Fill prescriptions.
  • Fill propane gas and car gas tank.
  • Secure boats and relocate according to predetermined boat plan.
  • Unplug TV/computer and bring antenna and satellite dish inside.
  • Add extra chlorine to your pool.
  • Turn off electricity to pool equipment and cover pump.
  • Move furniture and electronics away from windows and cover with plastic.
  • Pull curtains, blinds and shutters.
  • Turn off gas appliances at shut-off valve inside the house as well as water and electricity.
  • Secure pets in temporary shelter.
  • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting.
  • Place valuables in waterproof containers and store in high place.
  • Two-week supply of food/drink

Maintain a two-week supply of food and drink for when you return to the city after a storm. Keep it as a part of your survival kit. Include the following items:

  • Water and ice
  • Special dietary needs items
  • Small containers of canned meats, fruits, soups, etc.
  • Dry Cereal and crackers
  • Granola/cereal/protein bars, nuts, peanut butter
  • Bread
  • Canned or bottled juices
  • Dry or non-refrigerated milk and baby food or formula (if applicable)

Survival Kit

Keep a kit at your home with the following items in it. Some of these items will be needed to secure your home, some you will take with you when you evaucate, and others will be needed once the storm has passed and you are allowed to re-occupy your home.

  • Radio/TV/Fan (battery-powered)
  • Flashlight(s)
  • Batteries
  • Can opener
  • Matches or lighter
  • Two-week food-drink supply
  • Prescription medicines (a month’s supply)
  • Babydiapersandincontinentpads (if applicable)
  • First-aid kit
  • Spare keys to home and vehicles
  • Tools (hammer, screw driver, pliers, andnails)
  • Map of the area
  • Toiletries
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Zip lock bags
  • Paper plates
  • Napkins or paper towels
  • Plastic Eating Utensils
  • Toilet Paper
  • Emergency cooking facilities
  • Sternos
  • Propane for gas BBQ grills
  • Lantern
  • Fuel(stored in an approved containeroutside)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bleach (without lemon or any other additives)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Rain gear (clothing and shoes)
  • Seasonal clothing for a few days
  • Blanket and pillows
  • Mosquito/insect repellant and killer
  • Sunscreen


  • rope
  • an inflatable raft
  • life preservers
  • a tarp
  • sleeping bags and blankets
  • duct tape
  • mosquito netting


Keep an emergency suitcase ready at all times in the event of an evacuation or for any natural disaster that you can take with you to a shelter. Keep important documents sealed in an airtight bag. Shelters do not provide food. Be sure to take your own supply of non-perishable food.

  • Waterproof bag or box for all important documents
  • Proof of residency/business
  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance policy
  • Utility bill
  • Birth/marriage certificates
  • Bank accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • Phone numbers of family, friends, physician, pharmacy,
  • Caregiver and business contacts
  • Property photos
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Essential personal items such as prescription drugs, toiletries, dentures, hearing aids, eye glasses
  • Change of clothing
  • Battery-powered radio/TV
  • Extra batteries
  • Cooler with ice/water supplies
  • Non-perishable food
  • Toys/books/activities for kids

Hurricane Watch

Prepare for a hurricane as early as possible. Once a storm’s path is forecasted, begin to monitor the storm and prepare for an evacuation. Fill up your vehicle with gasoline before evacuating and be sure to have extra cash in the event of power outage.


It's very important that you take your pets with you when you evacuate. It's the only way to gaurentee that your pet will be safe. If you leave your dog or cat in a home, they can escape if your house is damaged during the storm.

When it's not safe for you, it's not safe for your pet. Evacuate early and don't wait for a mandatory evacuation order.

Find a pet friendly hotel here.


Prepare an evacuation kit for your pets before hurricane season begins.

  • Pet(s) should have proper ID (microchip, collar with tag, tattoo) including name, address and phone number
  • Up-to-date veterinarian records (vaccinations, medical history, any existing medical conditions with prescriptions, proof of ownership, current photos) Updating your pets' vaccines during an emergency could prove challenging, so plan ahead.
  • One-month supply of medications
  • Flea & tick prevention/treatments
  • Two-week supply of food and water; can opener if necessary
  • Toys, treats and blankets to comfort animal
  • Proper leash & collar per pet
  • Appropriate pet carrier per pet
  • One-month of litter with pan & scoop
  • Phone Notifications


Prepare to move your boat when a hurricane is likely, even before a Hurricane Watch is issued. If you wait too long to relocate the boat, bridges may be locked down and you may not be able to get your boat and yourself to safety. Be advised that high-rise storage racks can be toppled by a storm's high winds. If possible, put your boat on a trailer and take it further inland. If you must leave your boat in water, make sure it is securely anchored, secure extra lines and add chafe protection. Check with your local marina for more advice.

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