A Hurricane Preparedness Primer

Even though it’s now into the latter weeks of the “official” Atlantic tropical cyclone season, I’d like to share a few hurricane preparedness links. There’s plenty of time in the Atlantic basin for tropical cyclone formation and major hurricanes have formed well into autumn. First, let me preface the rest of this post by saying that this list is not all-inclusive and not intended to be a source of information for potentially life threatening situations. Second, there are many sources of weather information and forecasts available. For the time being, it would be wise to stick with the National Hurricane Center and your local National Weather Service office. They will have the most up-to-date information you need. As your local situation changes, please also refer to the broadcast media meteorologists of your choice. Lastly, please don’t forget your NOAA Weather Radio. Weather apps may be all the rage, but many people across the USA tell me they vary a great deal in quality of information.

First, let’s take a look at some infographics. Following these graphics are links to sites for very important weather information, weather safety, and preparedness.


A preparedness kit and protecting vital irreplaceable items and documents is crucial.

There are many ways to get information. NOAA weather radio, the broadcast media of your choice, and your mobile devices. Have multiple ways to get information in case one isn’t available.

There are a myriad of hazards in a hurricane besides wind.

Flooding is almost inevitable in most land-falling tropical cyclones. Please be aware of flood safety rules.

Another hazard that is common to strong tropical storms or hurricanes are tornadoes. Be aware of the difference between a Tornado Watch, Warning, and where to take shelter.

Last but not least, use social media with care. This infographic speaks for itself.


Here is a good start to a thorough list of weather information and safety rules sites. As I stated earlier, this list is not intended to be all-inclusive, used in place of official information, or used in life-and-death situations.


National Weather Service Homepage

National Hurricane Center

Storm Prediction Center


NOAA Hurricane Preparedness

American Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness

American Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist (PDF file)

CDC Hurricane Preparedness

Extensive FEMA Emergency Preparedness Document (34 Page PDF File)

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov: Plan Ahead For Disasters

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

Preparing Your Pets For Disasters And Emergencies

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

American Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Information

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

I hope that this will help those of you who live in hurricane prone regions a place to spearhead your hurricane preparedness. Even if you live in an area where no hazards are possible in the next few days, you should have a preparedness plan in place regardless of the presence of any tropical cyclone. Being prepared is key to handling the approach of the storm, the hazards while it is in progress, and the situations you may face after the storm has passed. With knowledge being power, I also hope that this information will help alleviate some anxiety (which is normal, but often exacerbated by hyperbole) that you will no doubt be experiencing. Please remember to stick with official weather information sources and follow the broadcast media of your choice. Your local broadcast newspersons and meteorologists will have a wealth of important local information. As for forecasts, rest assured that the folks at the National Hurricane Center are the best in the business. Their number one priority is your safety and making sure that you have timely information. The same will go for your local National Weather Service office. Please follow all local advisories and warnings you receive. In closing, prepare now…evacuate if asked…stay informed…and stay safe!


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