Hurricane season is upon us and with it comes thoughts of how bad it’s going to be and what we can do to plan. Though we’d all like to think that this year, maybe we’ll be spared, the reality is that doing nothing is probably the worst possible strategy.

To help you stay on top of it, we’ve put together some tips to help you prepare for hurricane season – because being ready is far better than bearing the brunt of it without a plan in place.

Plan your evacuation route in advance

When hurricanes hit, we often see an unusual and incredibly rapid surge in water level. This could mean flooding – even if you don’t live along the coastal areas. When the evacuation call comes down, you need to be ready to move fast. This means knowing where to go and what route you are going to take. Check the City of Weston website in advance of coming storms to get up-to-date information on local shelters and evacuation procedures.

Prepare an evacuation kit

Having a well-equipped kit on hand in case of emergency could mean the difference between your survival and having to depend on others for it. Pack your kit into a large, air and water-tight plastic bin and make sure it’s in a handy place so you can grab it and go when you need to.

Some of the items you should include in your kit:

- Clean socks and underwear
- A spare pair of shoes
- Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
- A variety of batteries
- Flashlight
- Flares
- Strike-anywhere matches
- Lighter
- Protein bars
- Non-perishable nutrient-dense foods
- A few gallons of water
- Toiletries: shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.
- Blanket/sleeping bag
- Local maps
- Whistle to signal for help
- First aid kit
- Copies of your property deeds, ownerships, and insurance certs “just in case”
- Pet food and supplies (if you have pets)

Make copies of your most important documents

After a major storm, there is no telling what resources you may have to access. Make sure you have copies of all your insurance policies, ownerships, and land titles just to be sure you can prove your claims if the need arises. Put these copies in a safe, water-tight zip-lock and keep them in your evacuation kit.

Back up all your computers and devices

If your computers are lost, you can still access all your data – if it’s backed up to the cloud. Backup your data to a cloud backup service to be sure your personal information will always be accessible when you need it most.

Seek out local pet shelters and animal services

If you have pets, be sure you know where you can take them in case of an impending storm event. Whatever you do – don’t leave them behind! Be prepared by making sure they are up-to-date with all their shots and have adequate carriers ready to take them to safety. Many shelters accept pets, but it’s always good to be on the safe side.

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