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Be hurricane ready

As a coastal state, Georgia is at risk for hurricanes that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage even hundreds of miles inland, so every resident needs to understand their risks and should plan what to do in the event of an evacuation. For Georgia’s official hurricane guide, go to http://ready.ga.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/GeorgiaGA-HUR-GDE-APRVDHR.pdf BEFORE A HURRICANE Get a Ready kit and prepare a portable Ready kit in case you have to evacuate. Make a family communications plan. Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane. A tropical storm/hurricane watch means sustained tropical storm (39 mph to 73 mph) / hurricane (74 mph and higher) force winds are possible within 48 hours. Be prepared to evacuate. A tropical storm/hurricane warning means sustained tropical storm (39 mph to 73 mph) / hurricane (74 mph and higher) force winds are expected within 36 hours. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately. Make an evacuation plan for your family. Prepare to secure your property. Cover all of your home’s windows with hurricane shutters to protect them from high winds. Another option is to board up windows with 5/8′ exterior grade or marine pre-cut plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed to make them more wind-resistent. If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to evacuate. Plan ahead for your pets. Shelters cannot accept pets due to health reasons, so it’s important to find a pet-friendly hotel or make arrangements with family or friends in advance. Know your area’s flood risk ‘“ if unsure, call your local emergency management agency or planning and zoning department, or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage. The National Flood Insurance Program is designed to provide reasonable flood insurance in exchange for the careful management of flood-prone areas by local communities. The program, administered by FEMA, is available in hundreds of participating Georgia communities.

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