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As of this afternoon, Hurricane Michael is a Category 4 storm. As Michael takes aim at the Florida panhandle, here’s how you can prepare before the storm hits our area.

Right now, it’s important to get a plan together, in addition to needed supplies.

If you live in Georgia or the Carolinas, take precautionary measures to make sure your home is prepared for the hurricane.

These steps include: (source: ABC 11)

Cleaning out your gutters
Relocating outdoor furniture/trash bins to the garage
Purchase/install hurricane straps to help protect your roof from damaging winds
Purchase/install plywood or storm shutters on windows/glass doors
Buy some caulk and make sure all window/door frames are sealed
Trim/secure all trees/bushes by tying them down, move hanging plants inside
Secure all fuel tanks
Know how to turn off water/gas

Once your home is secure, continue to monitor the latest developments on the storm. Gather supplies, and make a plan.

These supplies are recommended: (source:

A flashlight
A canopener
Gather a three day supply of water for your family. Each family member should have one gallon for each of the three days
You’ll also need a three day supply of food for your family. These items should be nonperishable
First aid kit
Wet wipes
Ice and coolers (in case the power goes out)
Any medication you normally take, including pain relievers such as over the counter Advil, Tylenol, etc.
Pack an emergency bag of clothing for each family member
Crafts/activities if you have small children
Paper/writing utensils

Next, devise a plan.

Talk to family members about how you plan to communicate with them during the storm. When disaster strikes, cell phone usage goes up due to emergency calls, so try not to overwhelm cell phone towers if you don’t need to. Text messaging/social media might be more reliable ways to communicate with family/friends during the storm.

We hope this guide is helpful to you. Please take the necessary precautions based on your location, and stay safe!

QCWriter is a journalist who is fueled by espresso and motivated by determination. She specializes in pop culture, country music, and news content.