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Storms, Floods, Tornados — Are You Prepared?

How to prepare, file for insurance and more

Forecasters have projected hurricane activity in 2013 to be "above-normal," even it's not as busy as previous years.

But one bad storm alone could cause billions of damage to a community, like what happened with Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene.

See also: AARP, FEMA partner on disaster preparedness.

Are you ready for this year's hurricane season?

More often than not, 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
  • Prescriptions

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.

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