Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning Before a hurricane During a hurricane After a hurricane Test your knowledge about hurricanes
Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Hurricanes can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
If you are under a Hurricane Warning, find safe shelter right away!
- Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Take refuge in a designated storm shelter or an interior room for high winds.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Turn around, don’t drown! Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Heed Flood Warning Signs posted in floodprone areas.
Risks from hurricanes
- Powerful winds (downed trees and power lines)
- Heavy rainfall
- Storm surges (coastal areas only)
Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning
When hurricanes are expected, the Weather Service will issue watches and warnings>
A Hurricane Watch means tropical storm conditions are possible in a specific area. A Hurricane Watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
A Hurricane Warning means tropical storm/hurricane conditions are expected in a specific area. A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.
Before a hurricane: Hurricane tracks and forecasts change frequently, so if a hurricane is expected, pay close attention to the news as the storm nears your area.
Before a hurricane
Hurricane tracks and forecasts change frequently, so if a hurricane is expected, pay close attention to the news as the storm nears your area.
When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving:
- Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies.
- Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
- Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan in advance.
- Keep your car in good working condition and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
- If you have flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1,000 in loss avoidance measures, such as sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed.
When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving:
- Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
- Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (patio furniture, garbage cans, etc.); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (propane tanks, etc.); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving:
- Turn on your TV/radio or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Evacuate under the following conditions:
If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
If you live in a high-rise building - hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors - secure and brace external doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
During a hurricane
- If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
- If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, storm shelter or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
- If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
- Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
- Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn around, don’t drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Heed Flood Warning Signs posted in flood-prone areas.
After a hurricane
- Check on friends and neighbors.
- Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
- Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
- Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.
- Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Do not go near a fallen power line! Report them to Duke Energy Progress at 800-452-2777.
- Call Raleigh’s Solid Waste Services Department for information on storm debris removal.