Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season is here.

This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting an above-normal hurricane season, following a 2023 season that could be categorized as above-normal with 20 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) --- Idalia, Ophelia, and Lee.

Hurricane Outlook 2024 
Hurricane Outlook 2024 (Spanish)

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year. Now is the time to plan and prepare. Waiting until the last minute is never a good idea, and it's a particularly bad idea when a major storm is just hours away. Take the time now to review your emergency plan, make sure you are stocked with basic supplies, and get familiar with your local evacuation routes.

Are You Ready?

Your emergency plan should cover everything you need to do before, during, and after an emergency. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Center for Emergency Preparedness (CEP) has created the Are You Ready? Emergency Preparedness Guide. This guide covers each phase of emergency preparedness in great detail, so feel free to download a copy to help you prepare. We'll cover some of the major points below.

Before a Hurricane

One of the first things you can do to prepare for any type of emergency is to put together an emergency supply kit containing the following items:

  • Water --- 1 gallon per person, per day
  • Food --- 2-week supply of non-perishable food per person
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Medications --- 1 month's worth of all prescription medications. Don't forget to rotate your stockpile based on expiration dates!
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight (and don't forget the extra batteries!)
  • Radio (and don't forget the extra batteries! Unless you have a crank-operated or solar-powered radio...)
  • Clothes
  • Personal Care Items --- soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.
  • Important Documents --- copies of IDs, birth certificates, deeds, bank account information, etc.

For hurricanes, some specific things you can do to prepare include:

  • Know your area's hurricane risk --- Remember, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem.
  • Strengthen your home --- Consider adding hurricane shutters to your home, and bring in outside furniture if you're in the path of a storm.
  • Recognize warnings and alerts --- Sign up for community alerts in your area and utilize the various available emergency alerts and apps.
  • Check on your neighbors --- See if any of them need additional assistance with hurricane prep or evacuation.
  • Prep your pets --- Be sure you're prepared to take care of your pets during an emergency.

In the event that evacuation is required, consult the Alabama Department of Transportation's map of hurricane evacuation routes.

Visit Ready Alabama and ADPH's Get 10 Alabama for more preparedness tips.

During a Hurricane

If you are unable to evacuate and have to ride out a hurricane at home, you have to determine where you will be safest from high winds and flooding.

If possible, get to a designated storm shelter in your area; otherwise, go to an interior room.

Go to the highest level of your building if you are trapped by flooding. Do not climb into a closed attic, as rising water may trap you there.

Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock a person down, and a foot of moving water is enough to sweep your vehicle away.

After a Hurricane

When the hurricane has passed, monitor your local officials for information on when it's safe to return. Phone systems will be down or busy, so use text messages or social media when possible to communicate with your family and friends.

The clean-up phase after a major storm can itself be dangerous. Wear protective clothing, use appropriate face coverings or masks when cleaning mold and debris, and avoid wading through flood water, which may contain pathogens, chemicals, waste, and other unpleasant substances.

Visit for more information on preparing for hurricanes and other disasters.

Visit ADPH Risk Communication for post-hurricane food safety, generator use, and more information.