Be Prepared for a Hurricane

There are important steps everyone should take to prepare themselves and their family for the next hurricane or tropical storm.  Being prepared reduces the risk of property damage, injury or death.

  • Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in place;
  • Ensure your family is prepared by building an Emergency Kit and developing a Communication Plan;
  • Prepare your home and property for a hurricane.

 Evacuate or Shelter-in Plate

In New Bedford, it may be necessary to evacuate parts of the city to protect residents from storm surge flooding.  In all but the most severe storms, the area of evacuation will be those low-lying areas outside the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier. Residents living in mobile homes should also consider evacuating as well. Evacuation is also an option for residents living outside potential flood areas who feel more comfortable “riding out” the storm in the safety and security of a mass care hurricane shelter.

Otherwise, residents should “shelter-in-place”.  Shelter-in-place simply means, “Stay home”, or wherever you happen to be, and off the roads when recommended by local officials.


Know if you live or work in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone. See our Hurricane Maps page for additional information

If you live or work in an evacuation zone, you should plan for and be prepared to evacuate during a hurricane as part of your emergency plan.

Listen to weather forecasts and to local officials before and during a hurricane for evacuation and other emergency information. If evacuations are necessary, local officials may use the evacuation zones (Zone A or Zone B) or other geographic description to identify areas to be evacuated.  If local officials call for an evacuation of an area that you live in or work in, you should follow their directions and evacuate to a safe area.

Make a Family Emergency Plan of what you would do if asked to evacuate. Consider where you would go, how you would get there, what you would bring.  See our Hurricane Evacuation page for additional information.


During hurricanes, if you do not evacuate, you will likely “shelter-in-place”. As part of your emergency plan, consider what you would need to do in advance of sheltering in place. This includes building an Emergency Kit and preparing your home for emergencies. See our Shelter-in-Place page for additional information.

Build an Emergency Kit

Every home and business should have a stocked basic Emergency Kit that could be used for any emergency, regardless of the time of year. Everyone should keep certain items around the house and workplace in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power or unable to go to a store.

While some items, such as bottled water, food, flashlight, radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, sanitation items and clothing should be in everyone’s kit, it is important to customize the kit for the needs of you and your family.  Consider adding medications, extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries for hearing aids, wheelchairs, or other medical equipment, oxygen tanks, children’s items, food & supplies for pets and service animals and any other items your family might need. A list of allergies, medications and dosages, medical insurance information, medical records and serial numbers of medical devices will provide additional information during an emergency.

Visit our Emergency Kit webpage for additional information.

Make a Plan for a Hurricane  –  Create a Family Emergency Communications Plan

Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during a hurricane or tropical storm, or during any other emergency. The plan should include information on how to get in touch with each other if you are not all together as well as reunification after the storm has passed.

A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies.

Visit our Make a Plan page for additional information.

Prepare your home and property for a hurricane. 

Visit our Protect Your Property page for additional information.