5 things to know before hurricane season

Here are five things the National Weather Service recommends to prepare for hurricane season, which starts June 1:

1. Be aware of risks in your area: Hurricanes can bring flooding and damaging winds, including tornadoes, to the area. Store outdoor objects such as patio furniture, trash cans or grills before they become deadly missiles during high winds. Move outdoor furniture and valuables to higher ground before flooding.

2. Assemble disaster supplies: Think about surviving the storm's aftermath, too. Disaster supplies should include a week's worth of nonperishable food, water and medicine for each person in your household, as well as extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Consider getting a crank- or solar-powered charger for your cellphone.

3. Get an insurance checkup: See if you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, which requires a separate policy. Act now, because flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.

4. Check on your neighbors: Because we often rely on neighbors after a disaster, use this week to start a conversation about neighborhood strategies.

5. Complete a written plan: Determine your emergency evacuation plan and assemble your contact list. Take photos of your valuables, including photos of serial numbers. Keep your important documents together for quick access.

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