A Hurricane WARNING is issued when hurricane conditions (winds 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected within 24 hours or less.
- Listen for updated information and official instructions on NOAA Weather Radio, or portable, battery-powered radio or television. Hurricanes can change direction, intensity, and speed very suddenly. Continue listening for local information.
New Bedford residents should tune to the New Bedford Government Access Channel 18 or WBSM-AM 1420 radio for the most current local information and instructions.
- If advised to evacuate, leave your home as soon as possible to be safe. Local officials advise leaving only if they truly believe your location is in danger. See What to Do if an Evacuation is Necessary page.
Take your Disaster Supplies Kit and go to a shelter or a predetermined location out of the evacuation area. Having your disaster supplies will make you more comfortable while you are away from home.. Call your check-in contact so someone will know where you are going..
- If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, on the first floor away from windows, skylights and glass doors, even if they are covered. Stay on the floor least likely to be affected by strong winds and flood waters. A small interior room without windows on the first floor is usually the safest place. Have as many walls between you and the outside winds as possible.
- Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors. Closed doors will help prevent damaging hurricane winds from entering additional rooms.
- Have a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid using open flames (candles and kerosene lamps) as a source of light. Flashlights provide the safest emergency lighting source.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, sinks, plastic bottles, and cooking utensils. Public water supplies may become contaminated if electric power is lost.
- If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce the power “surge” when electricity is restored. When electricity is restored, the surge from many major appliances starting at the same time may cause damage or destroy the appliances.
- If in a mobile home, check tie-downs and evacuate immediately. Historically, manufactured homes suffer the greatest amount of damage during hurricanes. Prior to 1994, most manufactured homes were not designed to withstand even moderate winds.
- Be aware that the calm “eye” is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds. The opposing winds begin suddenly, and have surprised and injured many people who ventured out during the eye.
- Watch out for flooding. Hurricanes and tropical storms often drop large amounts of rainfall and cause severe flooding, even when they are weakening or are no longer a named storm. “Weak” tropical storms are just as capable of producing heavy rainfall and flooding as major hurricanes.
- Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during and after a hurricane passes over. Remain indoors on a lower level, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows. Going below ground, such as to a basement or storm cellar, increases your risk from flood.