If you live anywhere along the Gulf Coast, you’ve probably found yourself bracing for a hurricane at least once or twice.

But despite growing concern over extreme weather events, an Esurance survey found that the vast majority of us are ill-prepared for them.

Even if you’re not one of the thousands of people affected by the storm and heavy rainfall, keep these tips from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in mind:

Don’t wait.

If you know the storm’s heading your way, don’t wait for an official evacuation order. Leave as soon as possible to get a jumpstart on both traffic and worsening weather.

Related link: Preparing for Severe Storms: Dos and Don’ts

Stay close.

To minimize the amount of time you spend traveling, select the evacuation destination that’s nearest to your home.

Related link: 4 Things You Need To Know Right Now About Hurricanes

Be patient.

You’re probably not the only one trying to get out of Dodge, so plan for traffic and congestion on your exit route. Be patient and remember that everyone has the same goal you do: safety.

Make reservations.

If you’re headed to a hotel, be aware that inland hotels could book up fast. Make a reservation before you hit the road.

Related link: How Hurricanes Get Named (Quiz)

Use a shelter as a last resort.

Because shelters are uncomfortable and usually don’t take pets, check in only as a last resort. If at all possible, stay with family, friends, or at a hotel.

And if you’re driving when the storm hits, read our insight on how to keep yourself and your car safe.

Related link: How To Drive in Rain: (5 Quick Tips and One Suggestion)

More hurricane preparedness tips

NHC’s guide for building a disaster supply kit
NHC’s guide for securing your home
FEMA’s hurricane tips

This blog was first published on August 25, 2011.

DIY hacks | Safe and smart


about Heidi

Heidi brings 11 years’ experience to her role as Esurance’s copywriting manager. Writer, editor, and all around wordsy, she was content when content wasn’t cool. Also, she likes old-school country.