Hurricane Irene affected millions of people on the Eastern Seaboard and caused billions of dollars in damage.
See also: How to insure your valuables.
Were you ready?
Unlike with the August earthquake that caught the East Coast off guard, you can usually prepare for a hurricane. Seek advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), experts at helping communities with disaster preparedness tips.
If you are not in the storm's direct path but are concerned you may lose electricity, make sure you're stocked up with supplies in case you lose power for an extended amount of time. Essentials should include:
- Water (one gallon per day per person)
- Food (canned and dry goods, high-calorie food bars)
- Personal first-aid kit
- Battery-powered flashlight (with extra batteries)
- Battery-powered radio (with extra batteries)
- Personal medication record
In the event you need to evacuate, here is a grab-and-go checklist of handy items to take with you:
- Driver's license or personal identification
- Basic supplies: water, food, first-aid kit, hygiene items
- Prescription medications, glasses or contact lenses
- Maps: the official evacuation route, alternate routes and a list of shelters
- Car keys and keys to the place you are going (if applicable)
- Cash or traveler's checks
You should also know what exactly your homeowners policy covers and if a flood insurance policy adequately protects your valuables and will pay for any damage to your home. Also, be prepared to file a claim in case your home is damaged.You'll want to do this as soon as possible to help speed the repair process.