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Hurricane coming? Have an evacuation plan on standby!

By Shannon Lee on September 8th, 2010

When hurricane season roars in, home owners should be prepared to evacuate their homes in a moment's notice. Preparing for a hurricane long before one develops is the key to keeping your family safe and your home protected.

Hurricane coming your way? Plan ahead!

If you live in an area where hurricanes are possible, good preparation is essential. The Insurance Information Institute (III) offers the following planning tips:

  • Prepare for an evacuation. What route will you take to get further inland? Plan for more than one route in case roads are closed. Where will you wind up? Consider the homes of friends and family who live a bit further inland as your destination in an emergency.
  • Create a home inventory. Take photographs of everything inside your house. Take photos of the outside, too. Make a list of valuables and keep that list in a safe place, like a safe deposit box.
  • Get insured! Make certain you have enough home insurance to cover your home and belongings. Being prepared with homeowners insurance can't stop the storm, but it can help you pick up the pieces.

What to pack in your hurricane evacuation kit

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it is a good idea to keep these things in a waterproof, resealable container that is ready to go when you are:

  • Bottled water
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable foods that do not have to be heated
  • Can opener and eating utensils
  • Flashlights and batter-powered radio
  • Plenty of extra batteries
  • Changes of clothing for your family
  • Personal hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, etc.)
  • Copies of important documents (driver's license, birth certificate, etc.)
  • Prescription medication (don't forget eyeglasses and contacts!)

Don't forget to include a copy of your home insurance policy in your evacuation kit. You might not be able to return to your home for several weeks, and you may need your insurance information before then.

A final word

Think you're ready for evacuation? Now is the time to be absolutely sure. Take the "ten minute test." Imagine you have to get your family out of the house and on the road to evacuation in ten minutes or less. If you can do it, you're ready! If not, practice until you can.

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