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HURRICANE WATCH: Hurricane conditions pose a possible threat to your area. In especially vulnerable areas, early evacuation may be necessary when a Watch is issued. Otherwise you should review hurricane safety procedures and make preparations. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and commercial radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your location.

HURRICANE WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in your area within 24 hours. Areas subject to storm surge or tides should be evacuated as well as areas which could be isolated by flood waters. Follow the instructions of local officials. You will not be asked to leave your home unless your life is threatened.

When your area receives a hurricane warning:

  • Leave low-lying areas.
  • Moor your boat securely or evacuate it.
  • Protect your windows with boards, shutters, or tape.
  • Secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Fuel your car.
  • Save several days' water supply.
  • Stay at home if it is sturdy and on high ground.
  • Leave mobile homes for more substantial shelter.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane.

FEMA Emergency Procedures


A tornado is a violent whirling wind, characteristically accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud extending down from a cumulonimbus cloud. The air pressure at the bottom of the funnel of swirling air is extremely low. When this low pressure area touches the ground, it acts like a giant vacuum cleaner. Some tornadoes even occur over water. A tornado over a lake or ocean is called a waterspout.

If a tornado "watch" is issued for your area, it means that a tornado is "possible."

If a tornado "warning" is issued, it means that a tornado has actually been spotted, or is strongly indicated on radar, and it is time to go to a safe shelter immediately.

FEMA Emergency Procedures


Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you.

FEMA Emergency Procedures