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Hurricane Prep 101: Tips From the Locals and FEMA

The Presidential campaign and most other news have taken a back seat to hurricane preparation. This will be my first major storm as a coastal resident, so I’ve been asking a lot of questions of my friend and neighbors (and federal and local governments) about hurricane prep, and wanted to share with you what I’ve learned so far. Here are the major categories of tips I’ve received:

We have six tips to help you and your insureds affected by the hurricane.

Tip #1: Download the FEMA app. Do it now, before you need it. In the worst of the storm, it will have the best information.

Tip #2: Top up. Purchasing food essentials, especially non-perishables, can help to ensure that you’ll make it through during power outages. Speaking of power, don’t forget to charge your electronics and secure batteries. Homeland Security has some additional tips here.

Tip #3: Secure your items. Items that are light or outdoors should be secured and strapped down when possible. Likewise, placing items (don’t forget important items such as passports, deeds and birth certificates) into waterproof containers and moving them to higher locations. The Red Cross has great information, especially for what to do after the storm.

Tip #4: Locate your insurance information. Find the name and contact for your insurance provider and take pre-storm pictures of your valuables.

Tip #5: Scan the irreplaceables, or move them to higher ground. Deeds, passports, diplomas, stock certificates, pictures… assume that they will get soaked where they are now. If that’s a problem for you, then make a new plan for them. Either take them with you in an evacuation, or secure them somewhere dry (off the ground in a water-proof setting.)

Tip #6: Don’t be foolish. Stay out of the weather, away from the windows, and off of the roads. When is the last time you heard someone say “I wish I’d gone out more in that hurricane?” It’s just not worth it.

So that’s the information my friends and neighbors (and FEMA!) have shared with me, a hurricane newbee. I hope you and yours can stay safe through this and any other storm. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am about 36 hours out, and according to, I should be putting gas in my car and making my evacuation plan. Godspeed, y’all. Be sure to keep sites such as at hand and consider searching social media sites such as Twitter with the hashtag #HurricaneFlorence for updates.

Click here to read about hurricane prep for hotels and resorts.