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Hurricane Florence is headed to the East Coast this weekend and many are looking to prepare for the rain it will bring on its arrival. The National Weather Service predicts some rivers could reach minor to moderate flood stage. Governors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have already declared a “state of emergency” because the Hurricane is expected to become a Category 4 storm, with winds over 115 MPH and possible catastrophic flooding.

While the D.C. area is only expected to deal with an enormous amount of rain, it’s still smart to know how to prepare for a Hurricane. June 1st kicks off Hurricane season so here are some things to look for when preparing for a Hurricane.

Emergency Kit

Put together an emergency kit to place at your home, car or place of work. Here are some basics:

Water — one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.

Food — at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

Fill your car up with gas

Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert


First aid kit

Extra batteries

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food

Local maps

Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Prescription medications

Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives

Glasses and contact lens solution

Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream

Pet food and extra water for your pet

Cash or traveler’s checks

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container

Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water

Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof container

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils

Paper and pencil

Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children


Tips in evacuation

During an evacuation, the Department of Homeland Security suggests downloading the FEMA smartphone app in order to find open shelters during an active disaster.

Other tips include:

Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.Take your emergency supply kit.

Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.

Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.

If time allows:

Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.

Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.

Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.

Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.

Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.

Check with neighbors who may need a ride.

Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.

Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

How To Prepare For A Hurricane  was originally published on