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If a hurricane watch is issued

 

• Begin listening for storm updates or check National Hurricane Center updates online at www.nhc.noaa.gov.

• Fill the car's gas tank and keep it topped off. Make sure the battery is in good condition.

• Fill propane tanks for gas grills and camp stoves.

• Check your battery-powered equipment. A radio could be your only link with the outside world during and after a hurricane.

• Review your preparedness plan with your household.

• Pick two places for your family to meet: a spot outside your home in case of emergency, such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood, in case you can't return home.

• Establish an out-of-town phone number with family or friends to relay messages about your whereabouts after the storm.

• Refill prescriptions.

• Stock canned foods, soft drinks and water.

• Collect medical and property insurance papers, immunization records and medical records of anyone with special needs in a rugged, waterproof container. Include a few cherished mementos. If you evacuate to a shelter, take these items with you.

• If you are not in an evacuation zone, determine your ''safe room'' or a room that is away from windows and has walls close together.

• Put shutters, window and door protection in place if instructed by local officials.

• Do not trim branches or limbs from trees. These could become dangerous missiles if picked up by the wind.

• Locate the turnoff valves for electricity, water and gas.

• Inspect and secure mobile home tie-downs.

Read more Hurricanes stories from the Miami Herald

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