It’s a decision most of us never want to have to make: Will you stay or go when a hurricane is heading your way?

Here's what you should do before the storm hits, when it hits and after it hits.

FIRST 24 HOURS BEFORE THE STORM

  • Identify your safe room. Clear it out except for the essentials. That’s where you’re riding this thing out. The fewer windows, the better.
  • Crank down the refrigerator to the coldest temperature. It will help preserve food longer if the power only goes out temporarily.
  • You’ll need water. Fill bathtubs and sinks. You will need enough to flush the toilet and cook.
  • Charge your cellphone. Put your pets on a leash, and in their cage.
  • Gather your important documents in a storm-proof container

RELATED: How to communicate with family during a hurricane

FIRST 24 HOURS DURING THE STORM

  • Don’t go outside even if you think it’s over, it could just be the eye of the storm.
  • Don’t mess around with the floodwaters. It may look like it’s not a big deal, but it only takes six to 12 inches to take you down or flood your car.
  • If you need evacuation help, put a white sheet on your door or roof so officials know. Be patient, they might not be able to get to you yet.

FIRST 24 HOURS AFTER THE STORM

  • Take pictures of any damage.
  • Clean up as soon as possible to avoid mold. Wear protective clothing.
  • Don’t make unnecessary calls. Save your cell battery and text when possible.
  • When you have time, replenish your readiness kits and prepare for the next one.

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.