Storm and Hurricane Preparedness

Dark cloudy skies behind a blue evacuation route sign

A Checklist of What to Do - and What to Buy - to Ready Your Home and Family

As hurricane watches turn into hurricane warnings, it becomes ever more important to prepare your home and your family for the storm. Bringing high winds up to 110 mph, heavy rains, storm surges, flooding, and rip currents with them, hurricanes necessitate thorough research, good planning, and strong presence of mind.

Maintaining your presence of mind amid storm conditions can be challenging, so we put together a basic checklist of actions and items that will help protect you, your family, and your home from the devastating effects of hurricanes and tropical storms.

1. Make a To-Go Bag

A family surrounding coffee table looking at an evacuation plan with to-go supplies on the table

Put together a bag of supplies you can grab at a moment’s notice. Key items include:

  • Emergency blanket
  • Change of clothes
  • Bottled water
  • Copies of critical information

2. Stock Your Home with Disaster Essentials

Supplies on a table in case of an emergency like: medications, water bottles, flashlight, and batteries

During and after a storm, you may lose power and access to water for several days. Prepare for a hurricane by stocking your home with essentials to last you for 3 – 5 days. Key items include:

  • First aid kit (Including latex gloves, sterile dressings, soap, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, adhesive bandages, eye wash, thermometer, aspirin, anti-diarrhea tablets, antacids, laxatives, small scissors, tweezers, and petroleum jelly)
  • Camera (This can help to document storm damage)
  • An extra set of house keys
  • An emergency ladder to evacuate the second floor
  • External cell phone battery or power bank
  • Family contact information
  • Boarding up a home for hurricane prep

3. Secure Your Home

A couple boarding up the outside of their house's window to prepare for a storm

Check your roof for loose shingles and damaged areas that could be exacerbated by strong winds. Make sure you have the proper tools and supplies to brace your home for the storm. Key items include:

  • Sandbags
  • Tarp
  • Chainsaw (Trim and remove damaged branches and limbs that are likely to fall during a storm)
  • Marine plywood or 5/8” exterior grade plywood (Cut the wood to fit and board your windows)

4. Tune In and Communicate

Man wearing glasses looking at weather alerts on his mobile phone on the couch at home

Power lines can fail and phone lines can become overloaded in hurricane conditions. Sign up for text alerts and warnings, try texting for speedier communication, and use “Marked Safe” features on Social Media to let loved ones know you’re OK.

During a storm, communication is paramount. Key items include:

  • Cell phone
  • External cell phone battery or power bank
  • Battery-powered radio (Listen to the news to understand when it’s safe to go outside. Calm weather doesn’t mean the storm has passed)
  • Pre-decided evacuation route

5. Prepare Your Home for the Future

Rain downpouring, and water flowing over the gutters on a house

Build hurricane-resistant features into your home to help protect it from future hurricanes and storms. Key items include:

  • Secure double entry doors
  • Wind-resistant garage doors
  • Trees and plantings that are less prone to uprooting
  • Hurricane-specific windows and trimmings
  • A safe room

6. Consider Flood Insurance

A flooded neighborhood

To help protect your family and the home you share, review your homeowners insurance thoroughly. Standard homeowners insurance often does not cover flooding from hurricanes and storm surges, but flood insurance does. To learn more about available flood insurance, visit

Thoughtful preparation can help prevent tragedy amid disaster. You can purchase many of the key items listed for hurricane preparation from or your local Do it Best store.


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