Hurricane Checklist

November 8, 2009

By Times-Picayune Staff
November 08, 2009, 8:40PM

Here is a checklist to get your family prepared and keep them safe before, during and after the storm . . .


  • Plan an evacuation route. Contact your parish Office of Emergency Preparedness or Sheriff's Office for information.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand: flashlights and extra batteries; first aid kit and manual; battery-operated radio and extra batteries; emergency food and water; nonelectric can opener; essential medicines; cash; credit cards; sturdy shoes.
  • Make arrangements for pets.
  • Ensure that family members know how to respond after a hurricane.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911, the police or Fire Department.
  • Protect windows with shutters or 5.8-inch plywood.
  • Trim dead or weak branches from trees.
  • Know the difference between a hurricane or tropical storm watch and a warning.*
  • According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a watch is issued when there is a threat from hurricane or tropical storm conditions within 24- 36 hours. A warning is issued when hurricane or tropical storm conditions, high winds or dangerously high water and rough seas are expected in 24 hours or less.


  •  Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for progress reports.
  • Check emergency supplies.
  • Make as much ice as can be stored in the freezer. Set the refrigerator to maximum cold and try not to open it after the power goes out.
  •  Recharge emergency equipment, such as electric drills, tools, cellular phones and batteries.
  • Fill pools to a foot below the edge. Add additional chlorine. Turn off electricity to pump and cover it.
  • Fuel car.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, and anchor down larger or heavier items.
  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows. Remove outside antennas.
  • Store drinking water in bottles, jugs and a clean bathtub.
  • Review evacuation plan.
  • Moor boats securely or move them to a safe place. Use tie-downs or anchor to the ground.


  • Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.
  • If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately.
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
  • Avoid elevators.


  • Stay inside. Keep away from windows or glass doors.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames such as candles.
  • If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power surge when electricity is restored.


  • Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and bridges.
  • Do not take FEMA trailers or mobile homes.
  • Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve.
  • Empty freezer and refrigerator. Remove perishable food from house.
  • Pack enough clothing for five days. Don't forget underwear.
  • Tell someone out of the storm area where you are going.
  • Tape a note inside your home, maybe on the refrigerator, saying you have evacuated and listing your contact information in case emergency officials need to enter while you are away.
  • Elevate furniture to protect it from flooding, if time permits.
  • Take preassembled emergency kit and warm protective clothing.
  • Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.
  • Lock home securely and leave.


  • The aftermath of a storm can bring as much danger as the storm. Electrocutions, cleanup accidents, fires and other recovery-related accidents can just because the wind and rain have subsided. Be on your guard. Remain where you are until you receive official word from authorities that the stormhas ended and it is safe to leave. It is possible you will be without power, waterand other services. Monitor local radio and TV broadcasts for information regarding emergency medical aid, food and other types of assistance.
  • Avoid driving as roads may be impassable. Also, emergency vehicles and relief workers will be able to respond more efficiently without additional traffic congestion.
  • Stay clear of downed power lines.
  • Look out for snakes, insects and animals driven to higher ground by storm surge and flooding.
  • Beware of weakened tree limbs.
  • Secure your pets to keep them safe.
  • Clear your street, making a path for emergency vehicles. Get neighbors to pitch in.
  • Avoid the use of candles, matches and other open flames in your home.
  • Open windows and doors for ventilation.
  • Use your telephone only for emergencies.