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Ahead of the Storm: Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Published: May 2018

Getting your home and your family ready for hurricane season isn't as easy as just boarding up the windows and taking off. Use these tips to help make sure you and your family are protected if your home is threatened by a hurricane.

Satellite image of hurricane off Southeast coast of Florida.

Stock Emergency Supplies

Make sure to have a basic emergency kit with the following items for you and your family, according to

  • 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • At least three-day supply of nonperishable foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Wrench or pliers for turning off utilities if needed
  • First-aid kit
  • Necessary medications, including glasses and contact lenses
  • Moist towelettes, toothpaste and personal hygiene products
  • Sleeping bag for each person
  • At least one complete change of clothing for each person
  • Inverter or solar charger to keep mobile phones charged
  • Cash
  • NOAA weather radio (and extra batteries)


When it comes to protecting your home, quality coverage makes all the difference. Allstate home insurance can help take care of what matters to you.

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Prepare and Protect Your Property

Protecting your home from a hurricane should start long before a tropical weather watch is issued. Here are some steps you can take:

It's also important to understand how your insurance may or may not help cover damage caused by a hurricane. Visit Allstate's Disaster Help Center for resources about hurricane damage and insurance.

Create a Home Inventory

Keeping track of your belongings by maintaining a home inventory or using an app, can help make it easier to assess your insurance coverage needs. A home inventory may also help facilitate the claim process if your property is damaged by a covered loss as a result of a hurricane. Your home inventory should note each item and its value. Don't forget the contents of closets, drawers and cabinets. Store your home inventory lists, photographs and video tapes in a safe place off the premises, the California Department of Insurance suggests. Update your home inventory after making any significant purchases. Keep all receipts, especially for big items such as jewelry and furs. Valuable items may need separate insurance coverage.

Plan Your Evacuation

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you may want to have an evacuation plan. Consider the following steps before the storm hits:

  1. Become familiar with alternate routes. Map out routes in different directions in case travel becomes treacherous or traffic becomes too congested, suggests.
  2. If you don't have a car, says you should make a plan for how you will leave if you need to evacuate. Talk with family or friends to make transportation arrangements in case of an evacuation. Your local government or aid agencies may also be able to provide assistance.
  3. Plan for what you'll do with your pets, whether you'll be able to take them with you, leave them with family or friends or take them to a kennel.
  4. Keep a road map in your vehicle in case you need to devise an alternate route on unfamiliar roads.
  5. Prepare a bag or file with important papers, such as your homeowners insurance policy, and keep the file with you if weather forecasts include the potential for a hurricane.

48 Hours Before the Storm

If you find yourself within hours or days of a hurricane striking your area, and you haven't done anything to get ready, don't panic. There are several things you can do in the last few hours to be better prepared:

  • Track the storm path and projected risk areas at Monitor weather conditions with a battery-powered NOAA weather radio. This will help ensure you receive the most up-to-date information, including forecasts and additional watches or warnings.
  • Bring all lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants (and anything else that could be picked up by the wind) inside. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside, suggests.
  • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep it closed, says, so the food won't go bad as quickly if you lose electrical power.
  • Make sure all your family vehicles have at least a half-tank of gas. says filling stations may be closed or unable to pump gas during power outages.

Related Resources:

Our pages are filled with helpful tips and information about the topics that most of us face in our everyday lives. We focus on safety and maintenance issues with regard to your home, auto, apartment, motorcycle, boat, small business, finances and more. Please recognize that a particular tip may not be effective in every circumstance and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any outcome. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what's appropriate for you and your property and always consider safety.
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