What to Do When You’re Waiting for a Hurricane

What’s it like to wait for a hurricane? In my opinion, it’s like being a sitting duck. Now, you would think that, after spending half my life in Florida it would get easier. To be sure, in certain ways it is. That’s because Floridians take hurricanes seriously. This is what to do when you’re waiting for a hurricane.

waiting for Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian August-September 2019

You’ll have maybe five days to get ready.  So, please don’t put off preparations.

With this in mind, here’s a checklist of the essentials you’ll need in order to be safe:


Yes, to drink.  But also for some other basic necessities, i.e., to wash up, toilet.


You’ll need to cool off when the power goes out.

Canned Food

Unless you have a generator or a grill outside, no cooking for you.

Flashlights and/or Battery-operated Hurricane Lamps

For obvious reasons, candles are frowned upon.


Go ahead, try to find some D batteries at the last minute.  Ha!

Prescriptions & First Aid Kit

You might not be able to leave the area even when it’s all over.  Be safe. There will be downed wires and trees don’t ya know.

Pet Supplies

Gotta take care of your best friend.


Be sure to gas up your vehicles ahead of time. Supplies will be low because trucks can’t get in to refuel the pumps.


Have some cash on hand because no electricity means no ATM or cash back at the supermarket.

Board Up Your Windows

Get your shutters up early.  Try going to Home Depot for wood when a hurricane’s approaching – fuggedaboutit!

Store Outside Stuff Away

Tables, chairs, bikes, garbage cans, and plants are flying projectiles for the target painted on your windows.

Charge Phones & Laptops

It’s important to realize that you’ll be very lonely with no electricity, no phone, no computer.  For this reason, score a portable cell phone charger and use your laptop to power it if need be.

Fill the Bathtub with water

You know, the toiletries.

Find a Safe Room

Look for a place to ride out the storm, such as a closet or a room with no windows.

Weather Radio or Smartphone Weather Alerts

You’ll want to know what’s going on outside while you’re hunkered down in the closet.


  • Make a plan with friends and family to check in on social media in case you can’t be reached by phone.
  • In the event of a mandatory evacuation, know where to go and how to get there.
  • If you’re going to a shelter, be aware that many will not accept animals.  For this reason, you’ll need to find a place for your pets.  ABOVE ALL, DO NOT LEAVE THEM BEHIND!  Yes, I’m hollering.
  • Check on the old folks.  To be sure, this can be really scary for them, too.
  • While you’re riding out the storm, this is a good time to ponder this Dance Safari post, “12 Easy Ways to Stay Cheerful When Surrounded by the Cheerless“.

When you’re finished waiting for a hurricane and it’s finally gone:

Be super careful if you leave the house.

  • There will be downed live wires.
  • Roads will be filled with debris.
  • Some paths and roads will be cut off by trees knocked down by the storm.
  • Flooding and storm surge may have damaged your property.

Lastly, as you’re waiting for the hurricane, be thankful that you get a heads-up.  Some acts of nature aren’t so kind.

Don’t forget to check in with your family and friends to let them know you’re alright. We’ll get through this together.



  1. It must be pretty terrifying getting a hurricane warning. It’s not something I’ve ever come close to experiencing here in the UK, but just seeing photos and video of it happening elsewhere in the world, particularly perhaps the US, is really eye-opening. These are some great tips. I suppose the earlier you can prepare calmly the better, and to have back-up plans in place in case things go from bad to worse. One of those cases where we hope such preparations and thoughts will never be needed, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.

    Very helpful post, Barbara.
    Caz xx

    • Thanks, Caz. The good thing about hurricanes, as opposed to tornadoes and earthquakes, is you get an advance warning. If it’s coming, you have time to either prepare to meet it safely or get the heck out of there.

      I’m glad you liked the post because, with this crazy weather, you never know what’s next.

      Take care,

  2. Here in Australia hurricanes aren’t a part of our natural weather patterns, Barbara. However, we do suffer from floods and drought. Many of the tips you’ve offered are certainly needed for many under our weather conditions too!


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