Hurricane Dorian

Dorian is a very powerful storm that caused considerable damage to southeastern US coastal areas. Find resources to help you return home safely, and help survivors.

Returning Home After a Disaster

Wait to return to your property until local officials have declared that the area is safe.

Before you enter, check for safety hazards like loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage. Learn what else to check around your home and yard after a disaster.

As clean-up begins, look for items requiring special disposal and get tips on how to safely clean up your home to prevent injury and illness.

Natural disasters can cause damage to records and heirloom treasures such as family papers, books, photographs, and other media. Find guidelines for saving family heirlooms and learn what to do with wet documents

Emergency Food and Water After a Disaster

If you need emergency food and water after a disaster, find an open emergency shelter or listen to local radio or TV to locate other disaster feeding sites. You can also check with local agencies for food assistance.

Get Food Assistance After a Disaster With D-SNAP Benefits

If the president has declared your area as a disaster zone, you may be able to get short-term financial assistance for food under the D-SNAP program. If you’re in your home, follow guidelines for food safety after a power outage or flood.

Create Safe Drinking Water After an Emergency

If you need emergency water and can’t get bottled water, you can make safe drinking water by either boiling it or disinfecting it with bleach. Boiling water is the better choice because it kills more of the bacteria that can make you sick.

  • If the water is cloudy, let it settle and then filter it through a clean cloth or coffee filter.
  • Boil water for one minute. Let it cool before storing.
  • If you can’t boil it, add 8 drops (⅛ teaspoon) of 6% unscented household liquid bleach to a gallon of water. Stir it and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • If you don’t have bleach, look in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit for iodine. Use five drops of 2% tincture of iodine for each quart of water. You can also use water purification tablets, found at pharmacies and sporting goods stores.
  • Store water in clean containers with covers.

Infographic: Safety During a Long Power Outage

Use these tips to protect yourself and your family during a long power outage.

Tips to help you and your family stay safe during a long power outage.

  • Safety Tips During Power Restoration 

    While Power Lines are Down

    • Avoid power lines and wires that are sparking, even if you are in a vehicle.
    • If you see sparking wires, call 911.
    • Keep children away from electrical equipment and power lines.

    Generator Safety

    • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.
    • Use a power inlet box and transfer switch to connect a generator to your home wiring.
    • Use extension cords to connect electrical devices directly to your generator.
    • Do not connect your generator directly to your home's wiring.
    • Do not plug your generator into a regular household outlet or socket.
    • If you see utility trucks in your neighborhood, turn off your generator to keep technicians safe while they work.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. When power outages occur, using alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper. It can poison and kill the people and animals inside. Follow these tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Never use a generator indoors, in garages, or carports. Using a generator indoors will kill you in minutes. Generator exhaust contains a poison gas you cannot see or smell.
  • Always use a generator outdoors, and at least 20 feet from windows or doors.
  • Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home.

No Immigration Enforcement Initiatives for Evacuees

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Hurricane Dorian

The agencies' highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region.

Flood Safety

Simple safety measures can keep you and your family safe during a flood.

Turn Around, Don't Drown!

  • Don't try to walk through flood waters; just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down.
  • Don't try to drive through flood waters; 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

Don't Return Home Unless Local Officials Say It's Safe to Return

  • Flood waters can erode roads, and when they recede, dangerous debris may be left behind. 
  • Avoid standing water; it may be electrically charged from underground power lines.

Gas Price Gouging

After a disaster, such as a hurricane or a tornado, gas stations may raise gas prices to levels that are very high and unfair. This is called price gouging and it is illegal. If you suspect price gouging, report it to your state attorney general.

Find and Notify Family and Friends After a Disaster

Find your family and friends after a disaster in the U.S. or abroad, and let people know you are safe.

Find a Missing Person

If family members or friends are missing after a disaster, first, call your local law enforcement agency for help.

Register Yourself as Safe

If you are safe after a disaster, national emergency or overseas civil unrest and want to let people know your status or reunite with family: 

Help Survivors of a Natural Disaster

After a disaster, many people want to volunteer their services or donate money or goods. Get tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on volunteering and donating responsibly after a natural disaster. 

Donate Cash, or Volunteer to Help Disaster Survivors

Do not just "show up" to volunteer assistance. This actually makes things harder for responders. Instead, learn how you can help after a disaster through the following groups and organizations:

Avoid Charity Fraud

Make sure your donations are going to the people who need help. Learn how to avoid a charity scam after a natural disaster.

If you suspect you've encountered disaster fraud, report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

Government Response to Hurricane Dorian

Learn what the U.S. government is doing in response to Hurricane Dorian.

Visa Requirements for Bahamas Citizens Traveling to the United States

  • All travelers must possess government-issued identity documents, such as passports.
  • All travelers who arrive directly to a U.S. Port of Entry by air or sea must possess a U.S. visitor’s visa.
  • Travelers who would otherwise qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and who travel by air from a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance facility in Freeport or Nassau may not need a U.S. visitor's visa.

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau is open for emergency visa appointments, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Ports of Entry are prepared, should Bahamians request to temporarily relocate to the United States. Read more about visa requirements for Bahamas citizens traveling to the United States.

U.S. Assistance to the Bahamas

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is leading the U.S. Government response to the humanitarian crisis in the Bahamas. They are distributing emergency relief supplies, and providing emergency shelter, and logistics support. They also perform search and rescue, and damage assessments.

Veterans Administration Help for Veterans

The Veteran Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 is available to Veterans impacted by Hurricane Dorian who have questions about prescription drugs, resource information or any other healthcare concerns.

For the latest updates on VA facilities, visit:

Hurricane Dorian Cyber Scams

Don't get scammed while you're recovering from the storm, or trying to help storm survivors. Follow this advice to avoids cyber scams.

Check the Status of Your Flight

The storm could cause flight delays and airport closures. Before you head to the airport: 

Download the FEMA App

Install the free FEMA app on your mobile phone to:

  • Receive fast and reliable weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations nationwide.
  • Learn how to prepare for emergencies and find useful tips to keep you and your loved ones safe before, during, and after disasters.
  • Locate open shelters and disaster resource centers near you.
  • Submit photos of damage in your area.
  • Prepare your emergency kit, make a family plan, and set reminders.

Press Releases from the Department of Homeland Security

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter Email

Do you need help?

Ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We'll get you the answer or tell you where to find it.

Last Updated: September 5, 2019