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Preparing for a hurricane

Last updated: 10/4/16

Preparing for a hurricane

Learn more about what actions to take when you receive a Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning. We also offer tips on what to do before and after a hurricane. 

What is a Hurricane Watch?

That means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.

What is a Hurricane Warning?

That means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.

Still have questions? Contact:
Emergency Management
1 City Hall Square
Room 204
Boston, MA 02201
United States

Before a hurricane

  • Sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston.
  • Review your evacuation routes and listen to local officials.
  • Review the items in your disaster supply kit. Add items to meet the household needs for children, parents, those with access and functional needs, and pets
  • Check-in with family and friends.
  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know local hurricane evacuation routes to take and have a plan for where you can stay
  • Know where your nearest emergency shelter is located. **During any Hurricane, make sure your local emergency shelter has been activated and is open.

Find an emergency shelter

  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies. This is in case you lose power and water for several days and are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Turn on your TV and radio or check your city or town website every 30 minutes to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

Preparing your home

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Purchase a portable generator, or install a generator for use during power outages.

After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines. Flood water may also hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Photograph the damage to your property to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property — (for example, putting a tarp on a damaged roof) — as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.