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Florence threat increased; 5 tips to prepare for hurricane

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By Charlotte Smith

Steven Pfaff, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service sent out the latest outlook for Florence this evening. Florence started as a Tropical Storm but has strengthened to a category one hurricane as on Sunday.

Pfaff’s briefing warns Florence has gained some strength. There is a need to begin ramping-up initial protective measures.

His outlook states, “Hurricane Florence will continue to strengthen as it approaches the Southeast U.S. coast later in the week. While it remains too early to determine which area will receive direct impacts along the Southeast U.S. coast, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Florence can make landfall as a dangerous major hurricane.” You may view the full briefing by clicking here: Outlook of Florence.

Here are five tips to help you prepare for a hurricane by N.C. Department of Insurance and NCReady:

 Compile important documents. Gather important paperwork, including insurance policies, medical records, prescriptions, etc. Be prepared to bring copies with you if you evacuate your home.

 Create a home inventory. Go room to room in your home and write down the brand name, description, estimated value and date of purchase of items in your home. It is also helpful to compile receipts, appraisal documents and serial numbers. Take videos or photographs of your belongings. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily-accessible place online, on your smartphone, on your computer or in a fire-proof box or safe deposit box.

 Identify potential hazards around your home. Hanging tree branches, loose shingles, patio furniture and other outdoor objects can cause damage or injuries in a storm. Make repairs or secure large objects to reduce the threat.

 Review contact information. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information for your insurance agent and insurance company, and make sure they have accurate contact information to reach you.

 Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Know exactly what your insurance policy does and does not cover. Homeowners policies do not cover flooding; you can only purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. However, there is typically a 30-day waiting period before flood policies take effect, so don’t wait until a storm is approaching to purchase coverage. If you live in a rental property, your landlord’s insurance only covers the building. None of your personal belongings are insured unless you purchase your own renter’s policy.

Learn more about preparing for a hurricane or disaster at or by calling the N.C. Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212.

ReadyNC also provides tips on preparing for hurricanes. You may print their family readiness plan.

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