Before, during and after a hurricane


The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Preparation and organization are key to staying safe. Here are some items to take care of before, during and after a storm.


  • Family emergency plan
    • Discuss how you will contact each other if you are not together and how you will safely reunite
    • Store important documents in a waterproof container or bag or in a safe deposit box
    • Learn how to safely turn off water, gas and electricity
  • Prepare a supply kit and keep it within reach or near the exit you use most often
  • Trim trees and ensure all tree cuttings are disposed to prevent them from becoming projectiles during a storm. It’s too late to do this once the storm is approaching
  • Invest in plastic water containers for your family once a hurricane warning is announced. Plan for one gallon per person a day for up to seven days. It’s important to wait because keeping water stored for too long could attract harmful bacteria
  • Buy extra batteries for flashlights
  • Prepare your home using this checklist
  • Windows and doors should be secured with county-approved storm shutters or by boarding up windows with 5/8-inch plywood
  • Find out if you live in an area that is at risk of storm surge
  • If you own a boat, remember to secure it properly
  • If you own a business, prepare with this checklist
  • If you’re a pet owner, review this animal supplies checklist to prepare


  • Monitor the National Hurricane Center and local radio and television stations for weather updates and instructions
  • Get a hand crank NOAA Weather Radio to monitor the storm’s progress
  • Evacuate as needed or as directed
  • Stay indoors and away from windows
  • Have your emergency kit nearby or take it with you if you evacuate
  • Use flashlights, not candles or kerosene lamps, if the power goes out
  • Turn off the electricity at the main breaker if flooding threatens your home
  • Turn off all major appliances if the power goes out
  • No showers or baths during the storm
  • Keep children informed about what’s occurring
  • Keep animals in their carriers or crates
  • Listen for advisories from local enforcement agencies regarding roadways and bridges



  • If you evacuated, wait until authorities have declared your area safe to return
  • If you were separated from your family, use your family communications plan, contact FEMA or the American Red Cross.
  • Assess damage and begin recovery phase using these guidelines
  • Report damage as needed through your respective county’s website
  • If operating a generator, be sure to follow generator safety
  • Reduce breeding to the mosquito population by draining standing water and using insect repellents containing DEET

The above list was prepared using Miami-Dade County’s Office of Emergency Management guidelines for the 2020 Hurricane season.

The College of Arts, Sciences & Education hurricane preparedness guide can be found here.

For FIU students, faculty and staff, please see additional guidance on the FIU Department of Emergency Management’s website.