Make sure you are always prepared for the worst

The winds start to rise, the shutters start rattling, birds start flying in packs and you start preparing for bad weather. Whether you have been pre-warned by the weather man or you predict a hurricane yourself, the last thing you want to do is rush around wondering if you have enough supplies or if your house is going to stay standing.

According to a FEMA survey, nearly 60 percent of Americans have not planned what to do in a disaster. This is despite 80 percent of Americans living in areas that have been hit with weather-related disasters since 2007. Don't be one of the many people running around when the hurricane strikes. Instead, take a look at these tips and be the cool, calm and prepared hero who everyone looks up to in the eye of the storm.

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Prepare an Emergency Hurricane Survival Kit

If things go black after the storm and you get cut off from the rest of the world, you need to be prepared. A two-week supply of fresh water and non-perishable food is recommended. You should have enough for every member of the family and any pets. Some other essential items include:

  • A satellite phone to make a rescue call or to request emergency medical attention
  • A stock of essential medicines to last two weeks
  • A first aid kit
  • A battery-powered flashlight, extra batteries and a radio
  • A bag for each family member with a change of clothes and personal hygiene items
  • A plastic tarp and small tools for a window or hole repair
  • Blankets, pillows and sleeping bags.

With winter fast approaching, this kit could also come in handy for those crazy winter storms when you find it difficult or impossible to reach nearby shops. One of the last record-breaking storms resulted in people losing power in their homes and roofs collapsing under harsh snowfall and unrelenting winds. Having emergency supplies and preparation could mean the difference between life and death.

Have a Practiced Escape Plan

You can never predict exactly what might happen in a hurricane, but by preparing for the most predictable eventualities, you can reduce the stress of the situation if the real thing happens. Think about your possible escape vehicles and what to do if they are not usable. If you only have a small sedan, consider investing in a used SUV or truck with four-wheel drive that can withstand harsher weather.

Have a mapped route out of the city or town, with a range of other options in case your preferred route is not possible. Think about who will be responsible for pets, young ones and the elderly. With everyone knowing their role, things are more likely to run smoothly.

Get Flood Insurance

Depending on where you live, you may be required to purchase flood insurance. It is best to check beforehand and not be left with a hefty bill if you get caught up in the might of the next hurricane. You can even add coverage for your home if it is inhabitable after a particularly nasty storm.

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