The greatest potential for loss of life related to a hurricane is from the storm surge! The following actions are some important recommendations that you can follow through each stage of a Storm Surge emergency: 
Actions Before: Determine Risk, Increase Knowledge, Safeguard, Plan
General All-Hazard Actions:
- Determine the disaster risks in your locale and the hazards that accompany them.
- Increase your knowledge about the emergency warning signals and alert notifications used in your community.
- Instruct family members how to shut off water, gas and electricity to your house.
- Make the necessary property preparations to reduce the damage from the hazard.
- Acquire a backup generator in case of a prolonged power failure.
- Check into insurance (property, health, life, and hazard type).
- Make the necessary financial arrangements in case of a sudden evacuation and power outage that shuts down local ATMs and banks.
- Organize important documents and records and store them in a portable lock box or safe-deposit box.
- Perform home inventory video taping and store tape in a portable lock box or safe-deposit box.
- Develop an Emergency Communication Plan with evacuation plan and ask an out-of-state person to serve as the "family contact".
- Assemble a shelter-in-place Emergency Supplies Kit.
- Assemble a mobile Emergency Supplies Kit that can serve as a “grab and go” bag?
- Get a family member trained in first aid and CPR.
- Make the necessary preparations and arrangements for pets, seniors, and the disabled.
- Familiarize yourself with the emergency plans of your family member's employment building, school, day care center, or nursing home.
Hazard Specific Actions:
- Find out if you live in an evacuation zone and keep track of which zone it is.
- Check your house and land for any potential dangers related to flooding. Identify any vulnerability and repair it.
- Ask your insurance agent about flood insurance.
- Sandbags are a valuable tool to prevent water from entering your home. This approach requires specific instructions from your local emergency officials.
- If you live in an area that is subject to flooding, do not store your important documents in the basement. Keep them at a higher level, protected from flood damage.
If a Storm Surge Warning has been issued:
- Make sure that you have all the necessary items, namely, all medications, a radio, a flashlight and batteries.
- You may be asked to evacuate. In case you have to, make sure to have your emergency kit at the ready and in a portable bag such as a backpack, duffel bag, or small rolling case.
- Prepare your home prior to leaving: board up doors and windows. Make sure that basement windows are tightly closed.
- Fuel your car. If evacuation becomes necessary, it will be hard to stop for gas.
- If you have any questions or want more information on evacuation procedures, contact your local Emergency Services, Police, or Fire department.
Actions During: Safety Basics, Evacuation, Shelter in Place
- Stay inside where you are protected from the water. It's best to be on the downwind side of the house, away from windows.
- Monitor the storm's progress and listen for warnings or instructions from local officials.
- Before driving anywhere, listen carefully to rescue officials who will be coordinating evacuation plans.
- Be aware of risks such as hypothermia from cold water or drowning from running water.
During an evacuation:
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately to avoid flooded roads, being sure to follow recommended evacuation routes and listen to radio for evacuation instructions.
Driving Flood Facts - The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
Actions After: Get Disaster Relief, Clean-up, Salvage
- Continue to monitor local weather conditions and emergency radio before you head out.
- If you're without power, avoid using candles (for fire safety reasons) and try to use flashlights to get around.
- Avoid floodwaters. Do not let children play in the water.
- Be aware of areas where water has receded. Roadways may have weakened and could collapse.
- Avoid downed power lines and muddy water where power lines may have fallen.
- Don't return home until authorities express it is safe to do so.
- Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Help neighbors whom may need assistance.
- Watch out for animals, especially poisonous snakes, that may have come into your home with flood waters.
- Take pictures of damage for insurance claims.
- Look for fire hazards.
- Throw away all food (including canned) that has come in contact with flood waters.
- Pump out flooded basements gradually (~ 1/3 amount of water per day) to avoid structural damage.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems ASAP - damaged sewage systems are health hazards.
- American Red Cross, CDC – Emergency Preparedness and Response, FEMA – Are You Ready? Guide, Ready.gov, Be a Force of Nature with NOAA’s Weather Ready Nation, National Weather Service Weather Safety
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