There are two traps where you see one.
Namely, as the storm approaches, moving too early may be as bad as moving too late.
In the Caribbean
, if the storm approaches from the East (99% of time) there is basically very little wind left when it draws closer (if you are on its track) but quite some wind if you are to its N. Flat calm to its SW. Once the storm proper wind (core wind, revolving) comes, it is too late to move.
So, when your plan is to move:
1) make sure your engine
is in great shape and can be run hard for 24 hours and preferably more,
2) do NOT move too early (you may move into its path),
3) depending on how fast it is moving, departing 72-48 before it is forecast
to land may be seen as a very rough guide.
Also important: make your move-to plans early, and do not get swayed by what other cruisers in the bay decide. There is a very dangerous thing called common agreement that seems to be wrong most of the time. So, decide on your tactics before the season, then act following your own plan, not some 'consensus'.
However, if you are very inexperienced with weather monitoring and forecasting then do use an external source to decide on what exactly to do (met offices and local harbour masters are nearly always right on).
Re. waves (swell) conditions ahead of a hurricane - if it is an old storm, there may be hell of swell. If it is a recent one and building up, there may be hardly any extra swell.
If anchored in the mangroves ALWAYS imagine that thing called STORM SURGE.
You will find plenty of historical data online to envision the tracks, speeds, and conditions involved. NHC is a great source to learn a lot and fast.
You can PM me if you find such an information difficult to digest and I will
try to share what I know (I have relevant training and experience).