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    Updated on Mar 27, 2019. Posted on Sep 7, 2018

    8 Important Tips To Keep In Mind Now That Hurricane Season Is Revving Up

    Hurricane season goes until November 30, so trim your trees, clean the gutters, and buy an extra portable charger.

    1. Clean out the gutters and check them for damage to prevent flooding.

    Christopher Smith / Via amazon.com

    You should be cleaning out your gutter at least twice a year, but it's especially important that your gutters are clear before a big storm. After making sure that your ladder is on even, stable ground, fasten a bucket to the top with a wire hook. Don't step higher than the fourth highest rung and resist the urge to lean too far past the side rungs — you don't want to risk tipping over! Starting at the downspout, collect big debris with a garden trowel or gutter scoop, then flush the gutters with a garden hose.

    Get a gutter scoop from Amazon for $8.49.

    2. Trim trees and shrubs to make them more wind-resistant.

    Awakenedeye / Getty Images

    In order to reduce the risk of toppled trees or fallen branches, prune dying limbs and secure split trunks. Browning leaves, peeling bark, and mushroom growths are all signs your tree might be likely come down during a storm. In that case, call a landscaper or an arborist (AKA a tree doctor) to take a look ASAP.

    3. Bring in or anchor any yard equipment or patio furniture that may be damaged, or that may damage your house.

    Buburuzaproductions / Getty Images

    Grills, planters, tools, pool equipment, and outdoor furniture can all become dangerous projectiles in a strong enough wind. If you have room in your home, definitely move them inside, but if you don't, anchor them with rope, bungee cord, or chains.

    4. Examine shutters for rust or damages a couple times a year, so you can fix them before a big storm rolls around.

    Kyoobit / Getty Images

    My father discovered a significant amount of damage to the shutters of the biggest windows in our house right before Hurricane Wilma (which was a big deal in FL), so the six of us had to cram into one room in case they didn't hold. So seriously. Check. Your. Shutters. If you can't afford or don't have time to buy storm shutters, board up your windows with plywood.

    5. Stock up on at least three days' worth of supplies.

    Fstop123 / Getty Images

    If you have some storage space, it may be a good idea to have an emergency stockpile prepped so you're ready for anything. Here are few things you should consider including in yours:

    • Water (three gallons per person if possible)

    • Non-perishable foods like tuna, peanut butter, nuts, even ultra-pasteurized milk.

    • Purell or Handiwipes in case the water shuts off

    • Waterproof duct tape for sealing up doorways or windows

    • Pet pads and toys

    • Flashlights (instead of candles, which can be a fire hazard)

    • First aid kit including a 30-day supply of your regular medication

    • Batteries

    • A weather radio

    * Feminine products

    * Sleeping bags or warm blankets

    6. If a storm is imminent, turn your fridge and freezer to the coldest settings to keep your food safe longer in the case of a power outage.

    Banksphotos / Getty Images

    A full freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hours, and freezing large containers of ice can stretch that time out even longer. The fridge, on the other hand, will only stay cool for about four hours, so clear out anything that spoils quickly (or move things like meat to the freezer). And take inventory of the contents of the fridge and freezer so you don't let the cold air out checking for what you have available.

    7. Keep important documents in a portable file holder that you can grab quickly if you have to leave your home.

    mrPliskin / Getty Images

    You need to be able to grab important documents — such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance documents, mortgage statements — if, worst comes to worst, you have to leave your home with little or no warning. It may also be a good idea to include photos of your pets in case they get lost, and photos of your personal property for insurance purposes.

    Get a waterproof, tear-resistant expanding file holder from Amazon for $5.76.

    8. Keep an extra fully-charged power bank in your home so you can still use your devices in the case of a power outage.

    Mark Kalwa / Via amazon.com

    TBH, hurricanes can actually get pretty boring when they aren't actually dangerous, so you're definitely going to want to be able to use your devices. If the power goes out and your phone dies, you're basically screwed. This charger has enough juice for five and a half charges, so you can use your phone all you like.

    If its too late to order a portable charger, conserve battery by lowering the brightness, closing out apps, turning off push notifications, texting instead of calling, and turning off wifi and bluetooth.

    Get this phone charger from Amazon for $33.99+ (available in two colors). And be sure to check out our top picks for the best portable chargers on BuzzFeed Reviews.

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