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Top 5 Tips for Hurricane Safety

Organize a Family Plan

If you live in hurricane country, it's imperative you and your family have a plan ready in case a hurricane hits land near you. That way, if a big one does make landfall, you're more prepared to handle the situation calmly and safely, with as little confusion and fear as possible.

So for starters, find out how your family's school and workplace handle hurricane preparedness. If the storm isn't strong enough to force an evacuation, will you be able to shelter at either of those locations? What will they be able to provide in terms of food and water? Are there other public shelters that open in the event of an emergency? In the event of an evacuation, how far in advance will you need to leave work to pick up your children before the hurricane gets close?

Knowing the answers to these questions in advance can really help make the emergency progress more smoothly, and even help lessen the impact of the disaster. So after you've gathered the basic information, determine the safest places to go in your community (again, this list might not include your home, but other places in the vicinity). Be sure to also learn escape routes from your local shelter spots in case a storm turns truly nasty late in the game and you need to evacuate town.

Install safety devices like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and make sure everyone knows how to use them. You can't go wrong keeping your family current in CPR and first-aid training, too. Make sure everyone knows how to dial 911, and has memorized the phone number of an out-of-state contact person who can help your family stay in touch in case you become separated.