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Preparing for a Hurricane

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If you live anywhere near the Southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, or eastern Pacific Ocean, chances are you are vulnerable to hurricanes, severe tropical storms that can wreak extreme havoc on your home and endanger you and your family. To reduce the effects of these devastating storms, it can help to know how to go about preparing for a hurricane.

Preparing for a Hurricane Means Building an Emergency Kit

An integral part of preparing for a hurricane is building an emergency kit that includes items such as non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, and flashlights with extra batteries. When building your hurricane kit, it is important to keep in mind that you may be without essential services such as water and electricity for several days, so you should store enough food for at least three days and about a gallon of water per person per day. It can also help to keep a first-aid kit on hand in case you or anyone in your family sustains an injury.

Preparing for a Hurricane Means Preparing Your Family

In addition to building a hurricane kit, preparing for a hurricane also involves making a plan for your family if such a disaster occurs. For example, it is a good idea to know how you and your family plan to contact one another, as well as specific evacuation plans for everyone. It can also be useful to identify an out-of-town contact, since it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call someone across town.

Preparing for a Hurricane Means Protecting Your Property

Hurricanes often cause heavy rains that can result in extensive flood damage to your home, so it is essential that you purchase some type of flood insurance if you live in hurricane-prone areas. Some other ways to protect your property are to cover all your home's windows with pre-cut wood or hurricane shutters, install a generator for emergencies, and reinforce your garage doors.

When it comes to preparing for a hurricane, keep in mind that the more measures you take to protect yourself, your family, and your home, the less likely you are to have to deal with the hassle and stress of costly repairs and safety risks. While no amount of preparation can ensure complete protection from a hurricane, following a few simple guidelines can certainly make the threat of a coastal storm less menacing.

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