I can't emphasis the importance of evacuating before a hurricane hits your area. I have been in several hurricanes, dating back to Gloria in 1985. It was only a category 1, but it was enough for me to learn to respect the power of nature.
It was always one of my assignments to photograph weather-related events. News photographers are expected to cover blizzards, flooding, high winds, extreme heat and cold, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Newspapers call them 'weather shots.'
In getting those shots, I have photographed from my own vehicles, rode in the backs of pick-ups, hitched rides with law officials and the National Guard, and sometimes used my own 2 feet to walk a weather related event. Newspapers want the entire story, from people shuttering windows, emptying grocery store shelves to the after-effects of the storm. They also want those up-close and personal photos of the weather, and that can be challenging when it comes to hurricanes. Knowing when to leave an area is a skill you gain with experience.
With the explosion in cell phones, I have seen people doing some dangerous things to get photos to send to their local newspapers and TV stations. Don't. There is no 'safe' when you are at the mercy of the weather and an inexperienced person could be risking their lives in certain situations. Hurricanes are the worst because of downed power lines that could electrocute you and flooding that could trap you in your car.
If you don't adhere to warnings and decide not to leave your home, and are in a truly safe place, go ahead and take photos, but know that the window you're standing at could be blown apart at any time. The same goes for a tornado.
I hope people are heeding the warnings about evacuations. If you have nowhere to go, call the Red Cross or your local law enforcement office, or check with a nearby church.
Many times, during a hurricane, I have had to pack up my cameras and head home or to the nearest 'safe' location. You need to remember that if you decide to stay and the weather worsens no one will come for you. Even the National Guard will leave a dangerous area if the weather dictates. There will no EMS, no fire personal, and no law officials until conditions are safe.
As for photographing a hurricane, the media pays people to do that job. Don't put yourself in danger for 2 seconds worth of fame.
Don't touch that photo! Copyrighted, you know?