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    Why You Should Prepare for Hurricane Season

    Do you reside in an area that is prone to hurricanes? If you live on the East Coast, namely in the south or if you live along the Gulf Coast, the risk of a hurricane impacting your life can be quite high. Are you prepared?

    Unfortunately, not everyone is. As a result, many home owners are left scrambling to recover during the aftermath. For example, people without power may need gasoline powered generators. If hundreds of people in the same area need generators at the same time, stores are likely to sell out before more can be brought in, leaving those who did not stock up in advance in the dark. Other problems that may arise during the aftermath of a hurricane include:

    • Widespread power outages
    • Damage to buildings caused by fallen trees or flying objects
    • Lack of drinking water for humans and animals
    • Lack of supplies available to purchase at local stores due to a sudden increase in demand

    To make matters worse, many roads may be blocked due to storm damage or flooding, so even if a local store or supermarket has supplies you need, getting the necessary supplies may be very difficult or impossible depending on where you live.

    hurricane season extends from the beginning of June through the end of November. It is important to preplan for hurricanes. If you live in a coastal area prone to hurricanes, you fortunately get lots of warning from weather centers across the country. Take advantage of this advanced notice by heeding hurricane watches and warnings and preplanning your hurricane evacuation and safety.

    Follow these steps.

    Write Lists

    You will want to first start by deciding what you need or what you would like to bring with you in case of an evacuation. You will want to create a list of storm preparedness items for a hurricane, make copies of that list, and store those copies in convenient locations around your home. Because it is more difficult to remember the details of what to bring when faced with an immediate crisis, creating of list of what items you will need to gather is important. This will ensure nothing important is left behind or forgotten.

    There are also things you need to do around the house prior to a storm. Make yourself a Pre-Disaster Action Checklist to ensure you have prepared your home to the best of your ability. Read more about how to prepare your home for a hurricane.

    Know Your Evacuation Route and Destination

    Do you have an evacuation plan in place? Do you have any close friends or family members who live on higher ground or farther inland? If so, arrange to stay with people you know who are willing to temporarily open up their homes to you. If you do not have any friends or family in a safe area, you will need to stay at a hotel or a hurricane evacuation shelter. Check your local municipality to see where your nearest hurricane evacuation shelter is located. If you choose to stay at a hotel, it may be a good idea to have some cash on hand you can take with you.

    Safety First

    Although people are urged to evacuate from areas where hurricanes are forecasted to hit, some residents still choose to remain behind to protect homes and other belongings. If your area has received an evacuation notice or mandatory evacuation, evacuate. No material belonging is more valuable than one's own life.

    Take Care of Animals

    If you own pets, make arrangements to bring them with you. Many animals left to their own devices after a storm become lost, injured, or killed by damage to homes, flooding, or flying debris. It is best to remove pets from the area until everything has settled down.

    If you own livestock, implement a storm preparedness plan for a farm. Livestock is especially susceptible to injury from flying debris in open fields and flooding. When frightened, livestock herding instincts kick in and may cause animals to group together in the worst possible areas. Once trapped, it can prove very difficult to relocate livestock during the chaos of severe weather.

    *This information is general and is not intended to replace or override any of the advice, warnings, or information given by local officials, FEMA, NOAA, or any other official regulatory organization or government branch regarding storm safety in the form of thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, floods, or any other natural disaster or man-made disaster. Always follow take-cover recommendations, evacuation orders, and any other advice given by local officials for your area, regardless of whether it is similar to or different from the information on