Published on 08/27/99

Preparation Everything for Hurricanes

General preparation

Food and safety

Agricultural preparation

More information:

Georgia Emergency Management Agency


UGA CAES tropical weather information

As a hurricane approaches, the last thing you want is to be unprepared. These tips from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences can help you and your family weather the storm.

General preparation

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are expected within 24-36 hours. Hurricane warnings indicate a 24-hour expectancy of strike. Listen to NOAA weather radio for information. (Georgia radio station listings.)

Review your family disaster plan. Decide on an evacuation route and designate a shelter to meet at in case of separation. Fuel vehicles and make sure you have some cash and credit cards for evacuation or lodging expenses.

If you have pets, call to ensure the shelter accepts them and use a pet carrier or a leash during evacuations.

Check for and put away loose objects that can blow away or be blown into houses or other buildings and cause damage. Tie down anything that can't be moved inside.

Board up, tape or place storm shutters on windows and glass doors to prevent flying glass that may cause injury.

Get battery-operated lights and a radio and plenty of batteries to power them.

Food and safety

Turn your refrigerator and freezer up to its highest setting in anticipation of losing power. Pack food in the smallest space you can so it will insulate itself and stay cold longer. If you know the power will be off two or more days, dry ice can keep food cold and safe to eat for longer periods of time. Reset the controls after the threat of power loss passes.

Fill large containers with water for drinking. Flooding can contaminate water supplies and power outages can leave well pumps useless.

Move three days' worth of nonperishable, canned and ready-to-eat foods for each family member to a safe place. Include a manually-operated can opener.

Make certain a fire extinguisher is available. Electrical shorts or gas line breaks can easily cause fires. In flood or hurricane situations, fire fighters may be unable to reach your home.

Check your first aid kit. Make sure you have rubbing alcohol, adhesive bandages, a blanket, antibacterial ointment or cream and material to make a sling or tourniquet. Make certain family members have enough of any prescribed medicines to last them through the storm.

Agricultural preparation

Farmers need to take special precautions before storms. Be sure to:

- Scout fields for current disease or insect problems. Knowing current crop stresses can affect harvest decisions after weather damage.

- Provide adequate food and safe water sources for livestock.

- Secure equipment and lightweight machinery to prevent wind from blowing it onto other equipment or structures and causing damage.

- Check seals and external gaskets on doors and equipment. High winds can force rainwater into tiny cracks and into areas where water can cause rust or other damage. Blowing rain can wet equipment under shelters, so cover that, as well.

(Prepared with information from the following University of Georgia scientists: David Stooksbury, Kerry Harrison, Judy Harrison, Robert Stewart and John Beasley.)