What to do when a hurricane threatens

Hurricane Preparedness Week continues

File photo of Hurricane Ian approaching Florida in September 2022. It important to take action well before a storm arrives. (NOAA via AP) (Uncredited)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- – When a tropical storm or hurricane threatens Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida, it is important to take action quickly long before the storm arrives.

While long-term planning is important, there are some key things that need to be accomplished in the short-term.

Protecting your home

There is a lot to do to make sure your home is secure before a storm, especially if you live along the coast.

Board up windows and install hurricane shutters. Secure loose outdoor items and secure all exterior doors.

File photo of storm preparations in Tampa for Hurricane Ian in September 2022. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

If evacuating, it is important to unplug electrical appliances, like TVs and radios. Refrigerators and freezers also need to be unplugged if there’s a risk of flooding.

If you instructed to do so in emergency managers or law enforcement, shut off water, electricity and gas before departing.

Determine your shelter options and consider your pets

Consider where you will ride out the storm. Be sure to have multiple options, including staying with friends and family and hotels.

If public shelters are your only option, be sure to know ahead of time what supplies will be needed.

Pets also need a place to ride out the storm. Make sure the hotel or shelter you’re planning on staying takes pets. And be sure to have supplies for your pets.

Ready supplies

When a storm is threatening, it is time to complete your supply kit.

Be sure not only to have food and basic needs, but other things like chargers and hygiene products.

File photo of hurricane supplies. Be sure to complete your hurricane kit at the first sign of a threatening storm. (File Photo) (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Prescription medication also needs to be packed, and make sure to have enough to ride out the storm.

Make sure in the days leading up to the event, to have your phones charged and fill up and charge your vehicle.

Help your neighbors and elderly

It is important during a storm to make sure your neighbors and the elderly are prepared.

Check in with your neighbors to make sure they have prepared and if they need any extra assistance boarding up their residence.

The elderly may need assistance evacuating and completing a supply list.

And be sure to check in after the storm has passed.

Follow evacuation orders if given

The most important point is if an evacuation order is given for your area -- leave.

Don’t wait to see if the storm will intensify or change direction. It is possible, especially at beach and flood-prone areas, that flooding and high winds could cut off evacuation routes even before the worst of the storm arrives.

File photo of an evacuation. Be sure to heed evacuation orders when they are issued. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Leave with plenty of time to get inland before the start of the storm arrives.

It important to begin taking action steps at the first sign that a storm could threaten an area.

Taking an early lead will give you plenty of time to prepare your home and your family for the storm on the way.