Don’t wait! Seven steps to take now for hurricane season

These steps will help keep you and your family safe in the event of a storm.

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The hurricane season officially started on June 1 and runs until Nov. 30. If you have not prepared yet, the American Red Cross urges you to take steps now to be ready in case of an emergency.

“Planning and preparing can make a big difference in people’s safety in the wake of a hurricane or tropical storm,” said Joanne Nowlin, chief executive officer for the American Red Cross South Florida Region. “Take steps now to get ready and keep your loved ones safe before a storm threatens South Florida.”

Here are seven steps recommended by the Red Cross:

• Determine your risk;

• Create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event;

• Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets and emergency contact information;

• Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets;

• Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on your mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters – from home fires to hurricanes;

• Keep insurance policies, documents and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding.

• Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.

For more information on the Red Cross, go online to redcross.org/southflorida.

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