Storm checklists


During a storm

Home and work actions

  • Close and secure all doors and windows.
  • Go to your safe room.
    • If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first-floor room such as a bathroom or closet or under a stairwell. Even if the second floor is concrete, winds are always stronger the higher you go.
    • If you are in an inland high-rise, go to the first or second floor hall or other interior room away from windows.Your best bet is an interior stairwell or the areas near an elevator shaft. Such facilities generally have a plan, so make sure you are aware of it.
    • Stay out of any elevator, even if the power is still on.
    • If necessary, cover yourself with a mattress or climb into the bathtub with a mattress.
    • If you need to move, choose another central room away from windows or doors. Flying debris can kill you long before the storm is at its height.
  • Continue to closely monitor radio and TV to follow the storm’s progress and intensity.
  • If the winds subside, you may only be in the eye. It can last from a few minutes to an hour or more. The wind will then pick up from the other direction and is often more powerful than the first half of the storm.
  • If your home is about to flood, and you can get to your fuse box safely, switch off the power. If you are in standing water, don’t touch electrical switches or appliances for any reason.
  • Stay off the phone. Unnecessary calls clog communications lines, and can be dangerous.
  • Tune to local media for the all-clear before leaving your home or place of shelter.

Immediately after a storm

Home actions | Work actions

Home actions

  • Attend to the safety and well-being of your family and pets.
  • Make emergency repairs, if necessary.
  • Do not travel when wind speeds are sustained at speeds 35 mph or higher, and unless absolutely necessary.
    • Wait until the winds have subsided and it is safe for you to travel before returning to work.

If you lose power

  • Check all circuit breakers or fuses to help determine if your service outage might be the result of a household problem.
  • If you have significant water damage in your home that might make it unsafe, call a licensed electrician for advice.
  • Visually inspect the area outside your home near the meter. If the meter or any of the piping or wires on the wall of your home is gone or look damaged, an electrician will need to make an inspection and repairs because FPL crews are not permitted to work on the weatherhead or other parts of your home’s wiring. Power cannot be restored until this area is intact.
  • Make sure appliances are turned off or unplugged to avoid a power surge or other damage when power is restored.
  • If you plan to use a generator, follow the guidelines and safety precautions.
  • Do not touch any electrical equipment or power lines around the electrical equipment.
  • Listen to your local radio news on a battery-powered radio for regular updates from FPL. Assume that FPL is aware of mass outages. However, if your neighbors have power and you don’t, have your account number and call 1-800-4OUTAGE.

Beware the hidden dangers of flooding
Intense rainfall is not directly related to the wind speed of hurricanes. In fact, some of the greatest rainfall amounts occur from weaker storms that drift slowly or stall over an area. Flooding can be a major threat to inland communities.

  • When you hear hurricane, think inland flooding.
  • Learn your vulnerability to flooding by determining the elevation of your property.
  • Develop a flood emergency action plan.
  • Evaluate your insurance coverage; as construction grows around areas, floodplains change. If you are in a flood area, consider what mitigation measure you can do in advance. More information is available from the National Flood Insurance Program, at
  • Have flood insurance. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions. Check your policy.
  • In highly flood-prone areas, keep materials on hand like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels, work boots and gloves. Call your local emergency management agency to learn how to construct proper protective measures around your home.
  • If rising water threatens your home, or if you evacuate, turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood that may cause your evacuation routes to be cut off. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
  • Do not attempt to walk or drive through flowing water. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you down or even may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio and keep abreast of road conditions through the local news media.
  • Avoid driving into water of unknown depth. More people drown in their cars than any where else. Beware! Moving water can quickly sweep your vehicle away.
  • Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.
  • Test drinking water for potability; wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Avoid exploring flooded or wet areas. Electricity travels easily around water, and downed lines may not be visible below debris or flooded areas.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes. When flooded out of their homes, small animals may seek shelter in yours. Use a stick to turn things over and scare away small animals.
  • Look before you step. After a flood the ground and floors are covered with debris including glass and nails, and mud can be very slippery.
  • If your home is flooded, power cannot be restored until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make the necessary repairs and clear an inspection from the local building inspector before power can be restored.

Make sure food and water are safe

  • If you lose power, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food usually stays frozen about 48 hours. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about 48 hours.
  • If you are using a generator, refrigerators may only need to run a few hours a day to preserve food. Aim to maintain 40 degrees in the refrigerator compartment and 0 degrees in the freezer.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected when preparing or eating food, after participating in food cleanup activities; after handling articles contaminated with flood water or sewage.
  • Do not eat food that may have come into contact with flood water.
  • For infants, use only prepared canned baby formula that requires no added water. Do not use powdered formulas.
  • Thawed food can usually be eaten or refrozen if it is still “refrigerator cold”or if it contains ice crystals. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Post a list of contents on your freezer to minimize the number of times you open it.
  • Discard any refrigerated or frozen food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food with an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Listen for public announcements about the safety of your local water supply. Flooded private wells will need to be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede.
  • Safe drinking water includes bottled, boiled or treated water.

Work actions

  • Follow the instructions as outlined for your storm assignment or in your department’s storm plan.
  • Contact your regular and your storm supervisor to report on your safety and your ability to report as scheduled.
  • Call your supervisor or the number assigned to your business unit to get storm updates, information about your reporting assignment and when to return to work. If you are unable to communicate with your regular supervisor, get in touch with the person listed on your emergency contact information list.
  • Report back to work as soon as safely possible to support the restoration effort, or continue to monitor the restoration progress to see how you may be of service.
  • Continue to monitor post-storm conditions (via or by calling the Emergency Information Number (866-375-9191) or your department’s storm phone line for further updates on storm assignments).
  • Update your voice mail message to reflect your current contact information and when you expect to return to your regular work responsibilities.
  • If a customer or the media approaches you with questions about storm restoration or power outages, direct them to the appropriate resource. Information about FPL’s restoration process and Storm Secure plan are available at Information about Gulf Power's preparation and storm restoration process is available at the Gulf Power storm ready center.
  • When working on storm assignment, wear company approved logo apparel and your employee identification badge to help others identify you as an company employee.
  • Wear suitable clothing and personal protective equipment for your storm assignment. Jeans and boots are appropriate apparel at staging sites.
  • Bring any company issued personal protective equipment when you report.
  • If you are designated to be part of a travel team bring your personal travel kit.