Safety & preparedness Tips & how-tos

10 Tips to Help Prepare for Hurricane Dorian

Written by Joseph Porcelli

Updated 9:15pm EDT on Friday, September 6th

Dorian is racing Northeastward away from the Mid-Atlantic States.

Dorian should move to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England tonight and Saturday morning. Some strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours.

Below are resources in the affected states to help you stay safe and recover.

Promptly follow all evacuation instructions from local authorities.

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To help you, your family, and neighbors stay safe, with the help of our agency partners and friends at FEMA and NOAA, we’ve put the following 10 tips together to help you get ready for a hurricane.

  1. Ensure you have food, water, and medications for each person in your home for seven days.
  2. Have an evacuation plan. If you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately! If you stay, you will put your life AND the lives of first responders at risk.
  3. Refill your gas tank and stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes in case an evacuation order is given.
  4. Make sure you have a flashlight, extra batteries, and first-aid supplies. Fill your bathtubs with water to use for flushing the toilet.
  5. Have enough cash on hand to last seven days.
  6. Take a minute to invite your neighbors to join Nextdoor – the more of you who are connected, the more of you there is to help each other.
  7. Bring patio furniture, garbage cans, and anything that could become a projectile inside; they could become dangerous in high winds.
  8. As the storm approaches, be aware of quickly moving water and flooded roads. Do not drive around barricades, or through high water. Remember: turn around, don’t drown!
  9. Use Nextdoor to check in on your neighbors – and to stay updated on how the storm is affecting your neighborhood. If it is safe to do so, check in person on your neighbors who are elderly and vulnerable to ensure they are prepared and safe during the storm.
  10. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually more reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
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You can also find lots of good tips at And for real-time updates about Hurricane Dorian, please visit

If you have other tips for your neighbors, we’d love to hear! Please share with us in the comments below.

Reminder: this is Nextdoor’s national blog. To connect with your local neighborhood, please login at

Are you a public agency and interested in getting started on Nextdoor? Visit us here. Are you a neighbor who’s interested in connecting with your local public agencies on Nextdoor? Here’s how.


      • Pets ALWAYS come 1st, even before our own needs! I keep Benadryl on hand for the dog, as he’s super chicken when it comes to storms & having a 65# lapdog is a bit much at times! Vet approved of course & ONLY when absolutely necessary! He also has a few “hidey holes” where he feels safe. Cats are a bit of another story, but we MAKE the outside only ones stay in a closed garage for the worst storms, then let them out when we get the all clear.

  • Good luck to all stay safe ! Please check on your elderly neighbors, they may be dependent on SS only & may not have means to get water, food & medicines. Pay attention to updates stay safe !

  • Yes thank you. Numerous family members reside in the Orlando, Fl area along with a few in Georgia and more in Virginia. I’m in CA so my concerns are heavy.

  • Thank you for the excellent information.
    It is reassuring to know that even though we may not always see our neighbors knowing that we have the capability to communicate to share common concerns and relevant information to improve our safety and quality of life.
    Good luck in the coming days.??

  • Manual can opener! Plenty of food/ medication ( if needed) for your pets as well as leashes and crates ( aka for cats/ small dogs etc.) Fresh batteries of all sizes needed to operate battery devices. Rain gear ( including boots and jackets n gloves) plenty of 33 gallon trash bags/ rope bungee cords for tie downs.

  • How do you think we will fare in Highlands County….Lake Placid area? I am hesitating whether to remove vinyl windows from my screened room….but if we don’t get the heavy winds , can tolerate 75 mile ones without removing. Am
    senior so a bit much to ready all if I don’t have to. I know we could get tornadoes but .there’s no siren warning if all surfaces during the night. Thank you.

    • Dolores, if you need help with your windows, you can always post on Nextdoor and ask your neighbors to lend a hand, I am sure someone would be happy to help!

  • If there is a risk of losing power, I pack the freezer with bottles of water, filled about 2/3 full, about 3 days before the storm. I put the frozen bottles in the top of the freezer so they will keep the food under them safe for a short power outage. When the power goes out, I move a couple of those frozen water bottles to the top of my refrigerator to protect the food there.

  • Also make sure you have an emergency first aid kit on hand and one in the car as well. DO NOT go outdoors during the hurricane, even if it seems relatively calm, as when in the eye of the storm. This is very dangerous and can result in injury or loss of life.

  • Just a little FYI if you are planning on evacuating at some point. Freeze a container of water, then place a quarter on top of the ice. When you return you’ll know if there was a power outage. If there was, the ice would have melted and the quarter will be on the bottom of the container. Good to know so that you won’t eat any defrosted and re-frozen food.

  • Put your pool furniture without the cushions in the pool. The wind can’t turn them into projectiles that can fly and destroy screens and windows and autos.

  • If you have any family near the Eastern part of North Carolina near the coast. Make sure you let family know that you are ok.

  • And for those of you caring for feral cats / colonies – don’t forget to care for them. They are especially vulnerable.

  • Because there is always urgency and panic when I lived in PR I had emergency cabinet that included 2 cases of water, tuna, small mayo jars so once opened if no refrigeration not much loss, canned chicken canned soups, boxes of milk that require no fridge till opened but easy to slip in cooler once open. Stocked in early July and anything that expired before next season was removed and used after November. Also batteries and lantern oil

  • As several have noted, please do not leave your pets if you decide to evacuate. There is no excuse…there are pet friendly shelters in our county, and most hotels will allow your pets to stay with you uring an emergency situation. Stay safe!

  • If you’re on a well/ septic system, don’t forget to secure those tanks! We use a wooden pallet to store our salt, so we ratchet strap it to the main tanks, then secure the other separately. We learned the hard way after Wilma took our system out!

  • If power is lost, it could take weeks to be restored. Make sure you get enough cash early to evacuate or go for weeks without access to a powered and data-connected ATMs, gas stations….

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