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How can I prepare my home and family for a hurricane?

A: In the case of a hurricane, you and your family should always be prepared for the storm before it strikes.

The following steps will help you become prepared:

Develop a family plan - Talk to your children- locate the safest areas in your home and make sure all members of your family are aware of them. Post emergency numbers where children can reach them.

Create a Disaster Supply Kit - Make sure to always have enough water, food, blankets, pillows, clothing, first aid and toiletry items in case you are without resources for days or weeks. Other good items to include in your kit are telephones, cash and credit cards, spare keys and important documents.

Have a Place to Go - Hotels and motels might not be an option in the event of a hurricane. Try to locate a family member or friend that lives more inland where you would be welcome in the case your family has to evacuate. Know where your local shelters are in case you plan to find shelter there.

Secure your Home - Make sure to protect and reinforce the roof, stairs, shutters and doors in and around your home. Contact your local building code official for more information on home improvement projects that will protect your home in the event of a hurricane. Contact a home insurance agent to find out if you are covered for flood insurance. Note: Standard home insurance policies do not cover flood damage.

Have a plan for your pets - If you plan to keep your pet at a pet shelter, make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations as they are required. Have a current photograph of your pet and collar with identification.

Last Updated: July 15, 2009

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