What to Do Before, During and After a Hurricane

Get ready for Hurricane Irene now. Here are some quick tips:


  • Get cash. If there's no power, there's no access to ATM machines.
  • Get gas. No electricity means gas stations can't pump.
  • Charge your mobile devices. A power failure may knock out your home phone and if the only other phones you have are cordless, you will be without telephone service.
  • Get food. You should have several days’ worth of non-perishable foods and a manual can opener.
  • Get batteries. You will need them for flashlights and a battery operated radio. Be sure to know your radio stations.
  • Get supplies for your pets. If you can't stay in your home, most emergency shelters will not accept pets.
  • If you need to buy something, do it today. If the power is out, places like supermarkets will not have scanners or cash registers, and lines could be long.
  • Stock up on bottled water. If you get water from a well, you'll need gallons of water for personal use including toilet-flushing because if the power goes out, wells won’t pump. Fill up your bathtub, too.
  • Clean out your gutters. They could be a trouble spot in the event of heavy rains.Look at large trees near your house. If you find branches that could pose a potential threat in high winds, trim them now.
  • Bring in or tie down lawn and patio furniture and plants. These items could turn into missiles smashing your windows in high winds.
  • Make sure your sump pump is operating and that storm drains are not blocked. If the power goes out and your sump pump can't operate, consider moving items that could be ruined by water damage to a higher level.

During a storm:

  • Avoid using candles for lighting. Use a battery-powered flashlight. Never use a candle when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern, because the candle flame can ignite fumes from the fuel.
  • Try to stay in an interior room or away from windows.
  • Stay calm and do not call 911 unless there is an emergency.
  • If flooding occurs, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
  • During a power outage, turn off major appliances. This will minimize losing power again through a power surge and protect the equipment when power returns.
  • Do not go outside. Flying debris from high winds is dangerous.

After a storm:

  • Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in or near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
  • Call 911 only for life-threatening situations.
  • Call police or your utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains or overturned gas tanks.
  • Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road --you can be stranded or trapped.
  • Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.
  • If your power is knocked out, call your utility company.