Hurricane Watch vs. Warning
A hurricane watch and warning may sound similar, but the two have very different meanings (and expected reactions.)
A watch means that storm conditions are possible in your area within 48 hours or less. A warning is an announcement that a storm is expected to hit within 36 hours or less.
So, a warning indicates more certainty that the storm will impact the area.
When a watch is issued, there is a possibility it will turn into a warning. You should go ahead and begin some basic preparation when a watch is issued:
- review your preparedness kit and be sure you have everything
- go over your hurricane preparedness plan with your family (including your evacuation plan)
- listen for updates about the potential storm
If a warning is issued, it means the storm is expected to hit, so continue with your safety preparations:
- gather your supplies
- put your preparedness plan into action
- take shelter in a safe location
- listen for updates about the storm
- evacuate if you are instructed to do so
Pay attention to updates as the storm progresses. Here are tips for what you need to do during a hurricane.