The 13 most important things you should do to prepare for a hurricane
NASA via AP
Hurricane Florence, now a Category 4 storm, is approaching the US East Coast with winds of more than 130 mph.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall in North or South Carolina sometime between Thursday and Friday, just after the average peak of the hurricane season. Many areas are at risk of devastating winds, rainfall, and flooding. Governors in Virginia and both Carolinas declared a state of emergency over the weekend, and the National Hurricane Center said Monday that the storm's effects could reach as far as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press reported that Florence could hit some places with one or two feet of rain, causing severe flooding.
Forecasters are also tracking several other hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Hurricane Isaac has wind speeds of about 75 mph, and the NHC expects it to weaken as it gets to the Caribbean. Hurricane Helene is gaining strength behind Isaac and has reached wind speeds of more than 105 mph. And just weeks after Hurricane Lane led to major floods in Hawaii, Hurricane Olivia could hit the state as early as Tuesday.
To help people prepare for hurricanes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Red Cross, and other organizations have created guidelines about what to do and pack if a storm is approaching. Here are some of their recommendations.
Establish an emergency plan with your family.
Prepare an emergency kit ahead of time.
You may need to treat your water if you are waiting a long time for the storm to end.
Don't evacuate unless officials recommend or require it.
Find out where your local evacuation shelter is located.
Prepare your home for heavy rainfall.
Clear your yard before the storm hits.
Do not put tape on your windows.
Prepare your car in case you need to evacuate.
Do not attempt to drive through floodwater.
Take steps to insulate your clothing if you are in wet or cold conditions.
Put a quarter in a cup of frozen water in your freezer.
Clean your home quickly after a storm ends to prevent mold growth.
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