Storm: Work out a plan before a hurricane hits

Don't wait until a hurricane is bearing down on your area to make decisions about:

-- Where you will go if you evacuate. A hotel or a friend or relative on high ground are better choices than public shelters, which should be your last resort. If you must stay at a special-needs shelter, call your local emergency operations center now to register and arrange for evacuation. If your medical condition requires that you be hospitalized during a disaster, your doctor must make those arrangements in advance.

-- Who among out-of-town relatives will be the family information center. Use that person as a clearinghouse for other concerned relatives.

-- Where you will go if you take your pet. Most public shelters will not accept pets. Check ahead of time.

If you do take your pet, store in plastic a photo of you and your pet in case you are separated, as well as vaccination paperwork. Label the items with your name and your pet's name, including a carrier or crate large enough for your pet to move around. Some other important items:

-- ID collar and rabies tag/license and a leash.

-- Enough food and treats for two weeks, and food and water bowls.

-- Medications and care instructions in a waterproof container.

-- Newspapers, cat litter, scoop, plastic trash bags for handling waste.

-- A comfort item such as a favorite toy or blanket.

-- A manual can opener.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service


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