Planning for and dealing with Hurricanes

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November each year.  All it takes is one hurricane to cause severe damage, destruction and the potential loss of lives.  Hurricanes typically cause more widespread damage than tornadoes because they are bigger – some as large as 1,000 kilometres across. One of the most destructive effects of a hurricane is the storm surge, often causing serious flooding.

What you should do:


Hurricanes are tracked for several days before they hit the land. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a hurricane is to follow these three steps:

  1. Know your risks: Find out if you live in an area where hurricanes could potentially happen.
  2. Make a plan: Work with your family to make a plan so that when a hurricane happens, you are ready.
  3. Get a kit: You can buy a preparedness kit from the Red Cross, or make your own.
  • If a hurricane is forecast, secure everything on your property that can be blown around or torn loose.
  • Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house.
  • If you live on the coast or in a low-lying area near the coast, be ready to move inland or to higher ground. High winds can create large waves, which may become storm surges when they reach the shore. If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so, and have an emergency kit ready in your car.
  • Stay informed by listening to the latest warnings and advisories on the radio, television, or the Canadian Hurricane Centre website. During a hurricane, follow these steps to stay safe:


  • Do not drive through flooded areas. The undertow may be stronger than it looks.
  • Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. 
  • Do not go down to the water to watch the storm. Most people who are killed during hurricanes are caught in large waves, storm surges or flood waters.
  • If the eye of the hurricane passes over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from two or three minutes to half an hour. Stay in a safe place during this time. Remember once the eye has passed over, the winds will return from the opposite direction.