How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Jaime Junk loads water and ice into her car she purchased at Walmart in preparation for Hurricane Lane on Aug. 22, 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Lane was a high-end Category 4 hurricane and remains a threat to the entire island chain. Kat Wade/Getty Images

According to the National Weather Service, about five hurricanes hit the coast of the United States in any given three-year period. That doesn't sound like very many, and it's true that most people living in hurricane country won't experience a direct hit during the average hurricane season. The chances are pretty slim that your family will have to evacuate or that your house will be washed away in a flood after a Category 5 storm. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.

Fully preparing your family and your home for a hurricane isn't an easy task. It takes a bit of time, a lot of thought and a fair amount of elbow grease. And it's definitely not something you do smack in the middle of hurricane season -- you need to start the process well ahead of time so you're completely ready by the time June rolls around.

All of your hard work will pay off in the end, of course. Once you've storm-proofed your house, devised your family plan, figured out evacuation routes and loaded up your emergency kit, you won't have to do it again. And you'll have tremendous peace of mind knowing that if a monster storm does approach, you won't be out with the crowds at the big home improvement store, desperately trying to find plywood for your windows.

In this article, we'll walk you through how to get your family and home ready for a hurricane -- and tell you what to do if the big one starts barreling your way.