How to Prepare for Severe Weather at Last Minute

Hurricane winds blowing palm trees


Here are some tips on what to do in a short time to keep your family and home safe if you’re caught unprepared by an approaching hurricane or tropical storm.

  • Secure Outdoor Furniture: Loose items in your yard can become flying projectiles during a hurricane due to high winds. Move any unsecured items in your yard – including patio furniture, lawn chairs, bird feeders, hanging plants, and toys – inside your house or garage if possible. If you can’t move outdoor item in, use a strong rope or garden hose to tie them securely down.
  • Move Cars to Safety: Cars are often damaged or destroyed by falling trees or windblown debris during a hurricane. If you have a garage, park your cars in it and close the garage door. If not, position cars close to your home on the lee side of expected winds and away from trees to provide some shielding from the storm. Avoid parking cars near power lines or trees.
  • Find Utility Cutoffs: Identify the cutoff switches and valves for your water, power, and gas; and know how to turn them off in case of an emergency. Severe damage to your home from a hurricane can cause a short or power surge in your electrical system, and may also result in ruptured water or gas lines. Cutoffs for water and gas are usually located at or near the meter for each utility. To turn off the power to your home, flip the main breaker in your circuit breaker box.