No matter where you are, the most important thing you can do-the only thing you can do, is prepare and be ready to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe. If you are in an area that is in direct danger and local officials tell you to evacuate, DO IT. Don't wait -- just pack up and leave.
Remember: Your home can be replaced, but you and your family are irreplaceable. Know your evacuation routes and where the shelters are. If you plan to ride out the storm for whatever reason, make sure you have all the supplies that you may need to make it through, even if you're stuck for days.
In the event that you are threatened by a hurricane, also make sure you have cash on hand. If power is lost and all your money is in the bank, then you will have no means to purchase things. In addition, be sure to gas up your car for emergency purposes. And, if you expect that you may lose power, make sure to charge have your cell phones and laptops completely charged for use after the power goes out.
Some of the things listed above can mean the difference between life and death -- which others only mean comfort versus discomfort. When a hurricane makes a threat, take it seriously. If you are prepared and you don't get hit you have lost nothing... but if you are not prepared and it does hit, you risk losing everything.
For more detailed information on hurricane preparedness, including tips on developing a family plan, ways to secure your home, and how to ensure the safety of your pets, check out the NOAA's hurricane preparedness site.
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