Each year there are many areas in the United States that get hit with major storms that have heavy rains, extremely strong winds, storm surges, flooding, rip currents and more. If your area is warned about a storm heading your way, make sure you are prepared with these helpful tips!

1. Outside Your Home
Check for any dead tree limbs and if any are visible, cut them down. Those could be picked up by the high speed winds and hit into your home causing damage. Same goes for any loose outside furniture. Be sure to secure any chairs, tables, grills, etc. or bring them into your house if you have room for storage.

2. Have Water & Ice
Start bagging as much ice as you can from your freezer. It will come in handy for drinking water for you or your pets if you lose power. Many stores may already be out of water. Start filling Tupperware and any plastic containers with water and freeze it so you can later thaw it out and drink it if you need to.

3. Photos & Valuables
Take photos of any valuables in your home with all the important information of what they are. It also is a good idea to put this, important documents and anything else of value in plastic bins. Place these bins in a high location in your home in case it floods.

4. Know Where To Go In Case Of Evacuation
If you are ordered to evacuate, make sure you know the local evacuation routes and have a plan of where you can stay. If you need more information in regards to this call your local emergency management agency. Have a family disaster plan so your family knows what to do.

5. Have A To-Go Bag Ready
Have a bag ready in case you need to leave. Be sure to pack a flashlight, first aid supplies, cash, batteries, medications, and copies of your personal information (license, passport, etc.)

6. Other Important Tips
Make sure you unplug all appliances, keep listening to the radio, TV news and even social media for updates on the incoming storm, stay inside unless you are told to evacuate, be ready to leave if you need to, and if strong winds occur make sure to stay away from windows.