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Are You Prepared?

Hurricanes and tropical storms are deadly forces that can have catastrophic consequences. This guide was designed to provide you with the information and resources you’ll need to improve the safety of your family and your home in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Being mentally and physically prepared are two of the most important steps you can take to successfully weather a hurricane or tropical storm.

What To Do Pre-Storm

  • Round Up Your Records down-arrow

    It’s important to gather records such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, mortgage documents, medical records, insurance documents, etc. Make sure these documents are in a safe place that’s easily accessible should a storm arise.

    If you have insurance through AAA Insurance Agency and need additional copies of your documents, call 800.891.4222. Also, take time to review your homeowners and flood coverage. AAA Insurance Agents will provide a free review and explain your specific coverage in the event of a hurricane. Contact your local AAA Insurance Agent today.

  • Figure Out Flood Insurance And Ensure You’re Covered down-arrow

    Many people don’t realize that a homeowners policy will not cover you in the event of a flood. If you don’t have a flood policy, it’s critical to talk with your agent to determine the appropriate amount of flood coverage you’ll need.

    Don’t wait it out. Flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before they take effect, so waiting until storm season could be very costly. Plus, coverage can cost as little as $1/day. Get all of the flood facts here.

  • Make An Inventory Your Assets & Their Values down-arrow

    Creating your household inventory well before storm season not only helps you evaluate your insurance coverage, but makes it easier to file and collect a claim after a storm. It’s recommended that you take photos and/or video of your possessions. These digital files can then be stored on a cloud-based site or stored in a dry, secure place – such as a safe or safety deposit box for future reference.

  • Make A Plan To Protect Your Family down-arrow

    Have all your emergency contacts written down and loaded into all family members’ cell phones. In the event that you become separated, it’s very important to include the number of an out-of-state contact. People with pets should also remember to include the number for their local animal shelter.

    Determine a location to meet in case the family gets separated.

    It is important to identify the safest room in the house and be sure everyone in your family knows about this room. Also, teach family members how to turn off the gas, electricity and water.

    If you receive home care, include caregivers in your plans. It is also recommended that you contact the home health service to learn about their current emergency procedures.

  • Stock Up On Supplies down-arrow

    Be sure you have sufficient storm supplies and know where these supplies are located.

    You never know if you’ll be evacuated, so keep your car safe and well maintained during the warm summer months. AAA members can go to any AAA Approved Auto Repair location for a free 24-point inspection. Follow these simple steps to keep your vehicles maintained.

    • Check your oil and filter; change if needed.
    • Test battery charge and charge or replace battery if necessary.
    • Add air or replace the spare tire.
    • Replace windshield wiper blades and add washer fluids.
    • Make sure your coolant is topped off.

As The Storm Approaches

  • Prepare Your Home & Property down-arrow

    Windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Protect them by boarding them with the proper plywood.

    Doors are easy targets for projectiles and susceptible to high winds.

    Seals provide watertight protection for door and windows.

    Patio furniture and outside décor can easily turn into dangerous projectiles when hurricane-force winds arrive. Bring furniture and decorations inside. Don’t put them in the pool, as doing so can harm the finish of your pool and cause staining.

    Bring in all bikes and children’s toys to prevent them from becoming projectiles or sustaining damage from the storm.

    Moor your boat, trailer, gear and supplies.

  • Make Sure Your Family Is Ready down-arrow

    • Understand the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning as it will impact your preparations and timelines.
    • Let your key contact know that a storm is approaching and share your emergency plan.
    • Take inventory of the supplies you gathered at the beginning of the hurricane season. Use your checklist to identify any missing items, including those you may have “borrowed” during the year and need to replace now.
    • Monitor radio and TV news as you may be asked to evacuate immediately. If you lose power, switch to a battery-powered radio and have flashlights readied. Avoid using candles for light as you increase the risk of a fire. Be sure to stock up on extra batteries just for storm season and keep them in your emergency kit.
    • Fuel your car in case of evacuation. Check fluids and get a cell phone charger for the vehicle. If you’re not taking your car, park it in a garage or on high ground where there are no trees.
    • Get cash, food, snacks and games. Remember, banks will be closed during the storm. If there is a loss of electricity, ATMs will be inoperable. It may be a while until the storm passes. Have some packaged snacks, such as granola, peanut butter and bread, on hand to feed the family as you wait out the storm. Family games also help pass the time and occupy small children.
    • Freeze some of your bottled water supply. Be sure to have coolers available in case of a power outage. Place the frozen water bottles in the cooler and then move food into it. The cooler should keep the food fresh for several extra hours.
    • Keep a bag with all essentials packed and ready to go in case you’re evacuated. Make sure you have clothing, medicine, etc. Make sure all your important documents are secured in waterproof containers.
    • It’s important to have everything ready for your pet in case you’re evacuated.

During The Storm

  • Find Refuge First down-arrow

    Stay indoors in an interior room or closet with no windows. This can help protect you and your family from dangerous windows and other flying debris.

    If power is lost, turn off major appliances to avoid a power surge when the electricity is restored.

    Resist the urge to go outside until officials announce it’s safe to do so. Even if the weather calms, wait for the official announcement. It’s common for weather to deteriorate rapidly – especially if you’re within the eye of the storm.

  • Make Sure You’re Prepared For Tornados down-arrow

    Many people don’t realize that tornadoes are one of the most dangerous byproducts of a hurricane. Here are signs a tornado may be approaching:

    • Dark clouds, often greenish in color (caused by hail)
    • Large hail
    • Dark, large, low-lying clouds – especially with rotation
    • Funnel cloud that visibly extends below the cloud base
    • Loud roaring noise, similar to a freight train (that doesn’t stop like thunder)

    If you suspect a tornado is approaching, follow these steps for safety:

    • Move to an underground room or a safe room. If you don’t have an underground or safe room, go to an interior room on the bottom floor that has no windows, doors or outside walls. Put as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible. Bathrooms (especially the bathtub) may work to protect you as long as the bathroom is not part of an outside wall and is windowless. Closets may also work well.
    • If a hallway is your interior room, close all doors to add an extra layer between you and the storm.
    • Get beneath a strong table and use your hands and arms to protect your head and neck. If in the bathtub, cover yourself with a mattress for added protection.
    • Do not open the windows.

The winds and rains of a violent hurricane may have passed, but danger still exists.

What To Do Now

  • Stay Inside... down-arrow

    Do not leave your home or shelter until officials give the “all clear,” signifying that it’s safe to do so.

  • Use Your Phone With Discretion... down-arrow

    Use phone for emergencies only. Call the key family contact to let them know you made it through the storm, and check on other family members. Except for important calls, refrain from using the phone as the networks need to be clear to handle emergencies.

  • Inspect Your Home For Damage... down-arrow

    If you see sparks, frayed wires or other signs of electrical damage, turn off the electricity and call an electrician as soon as possible. Check for sewage and water line damage, and avoid using tap water if you suspect it may be contaminated. Clean up any flammable liquids that may have spilled.

  • Smell For Gas Leaks... down-arrow

    Signs of a gas leak may include a smell, hissing or blowing noise. If you turn off the gas, only a professional can turn it back on.

  • Be Water Aware... down-arrow

    After the storm has cleared, avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water as it may be contaminated. Use the water you stored in bottles until you’re alerted that it’s safe to drink water from the tap.

  • Check Refrigerator For Spoiled Foods... down-arrow

    Don’t eat anything until you’ve determined it has stayed cold enough to preserve it. Throw away food you think may have spoiled.

  • Do Not Operate Grills & Generators Indoors... down-arrow

    They pose a health and fire risk, and generators release carbon monoxide fumes.

  • Watch For Potentially Dangerous Wildlife... down-arrow

    The hurricane and flooding could have easily forced animals, snakes, alligators, insects etc. from their homes. You may find them in areas you wouldn’t normally expect them to be.

  • Watch For Weak Or Damaged Roads... down-arrow

    You may have to use alternate routes as roads may be damaged or impassable. Also, avoid downed trees and power lines as they are extremely dangerous.

  • Take Pictures Of Damage For Insurance... down-arrow

    Make it easier to file your insurance claim by providing pictures of the damage to your insurance company. As soon as you’re able, contact your insurance agent to discuss your claim. AAA Insurance customers can find information on claims here.

More Information and Resources


Register For Severe
Weather Alerts Today.

AAA Storm Partners

As you prepare for storm season, these AAA partners can help you save on storm safety.

Home Depot

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Hurricane Shutter Company

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SkyeTec® Services

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Tractor Supply

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True Value

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