I've been in a few hurricanes. All have been different, but none have been what is hyped on the news.
Bonnie was the first. It was one of those Gulf hurricanes predicted to be a tropical storm, but strengthen rapidly and come ashore as a category 1 hurricane. There were no widespread evacuations and the surge was around 6 feet. The biggest affects were along the coast. It washed away a section of highway on Texas 87, which was determined as too costly to repair and maintain.
Bonnie came ashore during early morning. The sustained winds, when they reached my house, were probably around 65 mph. That's far from the hurricane force winds, but it was still enough to peel sections of roof from my house. I can only describe the sound as like a giant zipper being unzipped. Repairs involved all of the next weekend, but the house stood. The eye passed about 10 miles away. I didn't see the eye, but I did see the clouds become lighter and noticed the wind shift. I was without power for a few days.
After Bonnie, there was a hurricane about one year later. It was like Bonnie, as far as where it formed and how it behaved. I was far enough from the center that there were only tropical force winds. I didn't receive any damage or lose power.
Another storm struck the west end of Galveston Island a few years later. It was a strange storm since the usual wet Northeast Quadrant was dry. Instead of causing widespread rains, the storm blew in millions of mosquitos from the marsh. Since I was without power for a few days, it was miserable to be outside at night. The mosquitos would cover my skin to where only a little of the skin was visible. I didn't have a generator, so it was misrable in the heat, both day and night. I didn't receive any damage.
Rita was the next memorable storm. I evacuated, but wished I hadn't.(I'll elaborate further into my post.) Damage was minimal and I was without power for about 2 weeks. I had a generator to keep one room cool with a window unit, and power to my water well.
Ike was next. I felt Ike would end up over one hundred miles down the coast, so I didn't evacuate. Eventually, Ike proved me wrong and came ashore about 60 miles away, as the crow flies. The maximum winds at my house were around 85 mph and the eye eventually passed around 40 miles away. Damage was minimal for me, but the tremendous surge of Ike pushed water into places that hadn't been inundated by a surge in around 100 years. The damage was horrific to see. Entire areas literally diappeared and some were killed when they didn't evacuate. I was without power for about a week, but I had a generator to shift between the appliances and keep things somewhat normal.
All in all, sitting through a storm, in my opinion, is much better than the worrying in a strange place. I felt more relaxed during the worst of Ike than I did 300 miles from the coast during Rita.
An old man told me: "You don't run from the wind, but you run from the water." My experience has shown this to be wise in my part of the world. If you're above the highest point of a surge, the winds are not nearly as bad as you would think and you don't have to worry about a storm surge.
Am I saying don't evacuate? No, but I am saying the wisest thing to do is not panic, make logical decisions on your actions and never expect any help from a government agency. Emergency management can be as feckless as any government bureaucracy. Depending on that help can be a lesson in futility. Depend on yourself, keep enough drinking water to last a week, have plenty of non-perishables and never be without a flashlight. It's your friend. When widespread areas are without power, nights are the darkest you'll ever experience.
I've found the best resource after a storm were my friends, neighbors and even strangers. There's a strong effort to regain what once was normal. Everyone pitches in with helping to remove trees, temporary repairs and share the food they would lose if they didn't throw it on the pit after it thawed. Terrible times, become treasured memories. You realize your strengths, and weaknesses, but you increase your faith in yourself and the human race.