Hurricane and storm preparedness

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued its 2024 Hurricane Season Outlook. NOAA's outlook for the 2024 season indicates that an above-normal season has the highest chance of occurring (85%), followed by a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal season. This includes a forecast of 17-25 named storms, of which 8-13 forecast to become hurricanes and 4-7 major hurricanes.

The time to plan is before a hurricane watch or warning is issued. The best time to plan is now. You can never plan enough for a hurricane, but you can prepare for disaster before it strikes and educate yourself about what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Although Gainesville is not located near the coast, our area can experience major impacts from tropical storms – including hurricanes – even ones that do not make landfall. Severe storms can bring heavy rainfall and/or destructive winds or tornados, leaving devastation, including damage from dangerous flooding, in their wake.

The time to prepare for inclement weather is before an official storm watch or warning is issued. View the 2024 Florida Hurricane Guide.

How the city works to keep our community safe

Staying ahead of the storm: Gainesville readies for a busy hurricane season

Before the Storm

A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible. Now is the time to be alert to changing weather conditions.

A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected. Now is the time to take action to keep yourself, your family and your property safe.

When a Hurricane Watch is Issued

  • Keep up-to-date on storm information with the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center; listening to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio; or watching local TV stations.
  • Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood. Note: Tape does not protect windows.
  • Fill your car's gas tank.
  • Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
  • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications.
  • If you own a generator, be sure to know how to safely use it. 

When a Hurricane Warning is Issued

  • Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, complete preparation activities.
  • Stay indoors, away from windows. Do not venture out as the storm’s eye passes over.
  • Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or local media. If a tornado watch or warning is issued, go to the innermost hallway on the lowest floor of your home or office, or use a bathroom or closet for shelter.

After the Storm

  • Follow the instructions of local public safety officials. Stay informed with updates on Follow City of Gainesville social media.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for emergency information and alerts.
  • Use flashlights in the dark; do not use candles.
  • Visit Gainesville Regional Utilities’ Storm Central for a GRU Outage Map and phone numbers for utility emergencies.
  • Review portable generator safety information.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Avoid floodwaters; never drive, swim or walk through them as they may contain raw sewage, debris or other pollutants.
  • If you come upon a flooded road, turn around. If you are on a flooded road with rising water, get out of the car and climb to higher ground. Turn around, don’t drown.