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Maps with images of threats from IsaacAs the Gulf Coast braces for Isaac, we in Georgia are sighing in relief as it looks like we will be spared from the worst of the storm even as our hearts go out to our neighboring states directly in its path.

But what if Isaac had come our way? Would you have been ready?

A hurricane doesn’t have to make landfall on our coast to disrupt your life. Inland hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes include strong winds that down trees and power lines, heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes.

As a reminder, here’s exactly what it means to be ready for a hurricane:

You are prepared:

  • You have a portable Ready kit filled with all your emergency supplies in case you have to evacuate.
  • You know the difference between a hurricane watch (a hurricane is possible in your area) and a hurricane warning (a hurricane is expected in your area).
  • You have secured your property by covering windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters and by bringing in outdoor furniture, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • You have filled your vehicle’s gas tank in case you have to evacuate.

You have a plan:

You are staying informed:

  • You listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
  • You are alert for tornadoes and flooding, which often accompany hurricanes.

As we all wait to see what effect Isaac will have on neighboring states, I encourage you to take at least one step to make sure you are more prepared the next time that we find ourselves facing a storm like this. Small or large, every step you take toward preparedness is a good one.

With three full months of hurricane season still ahead of us and several storms brewing in the Atlantic, you may yet have a chance to put your preparedness into action. Don’t wait until the next hurricane arrives—and the grocery store and gas station lines are jammed—to get ready.

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