(RNN) - You may have the luxury of seeing a hurricane coming, but that doesn't mean you can wait until it arrives to prepare. Planning for a hurricane days before it arrives will keep you and your family safe.
According to ready.gov, the first things you should do are build an emergency kit, make a family communications plan and know your evacuation routes.
Some people choose to weather hurricanes and tropical storms at home, but if you change your mind or are forcibly evacuated, you need to know your evacuation plan. Included in it should be where to go, where to take shelter and when to leave so you don't get stuck in traffic or the storm itself while on the road.
Know where higher ground is located in case of flooding, which is a major risk with tropical storms and hurricanes, and know if your home is prone to flooding or is in a low-lying area.
Ready.gov advises there are a few simple things you can do around your home to prevent damage:
Cover all of your home's windows, either with storm shutters or 5/8" marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape will not prevent your windows from breaking.
Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame of your home.
Reinforce your garage doors.
Anything outside that is not tied down should be brought inside.
Unclog or clear all outdoor drains, rain gutters and downspouts.
Secure your home.
Lastly, you should check your insurance and make sure you have flood coverage. The days before a hurricane is too late, so you should prepare your insurance well ahead of time. Once a year, look over your insurance policies and make sure all of your important documents, such as passports or birth certificates, are in a waterproof container within easy reach of your emergency and evacuation kit.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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