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As storm advances, get busy

As the storm approaches . . .

• Listen for weather updates on local stations and on NOAA weather radio.

• Remember that hurricanes are unpredictable. In 2004, Hurricane Charley swerved east at the last minute and struck an unprepared Punta Gorda instead of Tampa Bay, which was in its original path. Don't focus on the narrow black line on the hurricane maps. Look at the cone of probability. Visit or

• Refill prescriptions and medical supplies. You should have a two-week stockpile. If you require regular medical care (chemotherapy, kidney dialysis), talk to your health care provider well in advance about emergency arrangements. Register to stay at a special-needs shelter.

• Clear your yard of furniture, potted plants, flags, wreaths, pool toys, bicycles, trash cans.

• Don't trim your trees at the last minute. A pile of branches can become dangerous windborne debris.

• Shock your pool. Cover the filtration system.

• Raise items off the floor (computers, entertainment systems, antiques, bedding) if there is a chance floodwaters could threaten your home.

• Secure your boat early. Drawbridges will close to boat traffic after an evacuation order is issued.

• Get cash. Banks and ATMs won't operate without electricity.

• Charge your cell phone. It may be your only source of communication. Get a cell phone charger for your car so you can keep it operating if electricity is out. Have a land-line phone that plugs into a jack in the wall. It may operate when power to operate cordless phones fails and when cell tower networks are down.

As storm advances, get busy 05/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:26pm]
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