If you don't have to evacuate -- or if for some reason you can't -- you might decide to hunker down and ride out the hurricane at home. First and foremost, remember that most people who get hurt during a hurricane are injured by flying glass and debris, so don't go outside, even if it seems like the storm is over. You might actually be in the eye of the storm, and you could be stranded outside when the winds kick up again.
Before you gather in your safe room, fill up bathtubs and any spare containers with water (the tub water can be used for washing and flushing the toilets). You might want to leave one bathtub empty -- tubs are always a good place to take shelter if you cover yourself with blankets or a spare piece of plywood.
Haul your emergency supply kit into the safe room with you, and make sure you know where a fire extinguisher is. Keep listening to the radio for weather conditions and instructions. Stay in the room -- and away from all windows and exterior doors -- until the authorities say everything is clear.
If you do end up having to evacuate, turn off your power, gas and water before you leave. Be very careful to avoid downed power lines.
- CDC.gov. "Key Facts about Hurricane Readiness." July 20, 2005. (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/pdf/readiness.pdf
- National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center. "Hurricane Preparedness." (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/
- National Weather Service. "2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook." Aug. 4, 2011. (Jan. 28, 2012) http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane.shtml
- Ready.gov. "Hurricanes." (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
- Red Cross. "Hurricane Safety Checklist." (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.86f46a12f382290517a8f210b80f78a0/?vgnextoid=fbb5e821cbdf9110VgnVCM1000002bf3870aRCRD