A solid hurricane preparedness can save lots of hassles. In case the worst happens it is best to be fully prepared and ready to take action once a tropical system develops. Many people procrastinate and try to do everything at the last minute. If you follow the advice below you will be very prepared. Also make sure to follow any advice given by your local emergency management officials. It is a good idea to heed this advice well before hurricane season starts or immediately upon getting this advice. Below are 25 points of advice:

1. Gasoline will be important to have once word gets out that a tropical system has formed and it could impact your area. My advice is to always keep your vehicles with half a tank or fuller of gas during the entire hurricane season (June-November). If you are not able to get gas during the run on the gas stations at least you will already will have over half a tank. Also keep an extra supply of gasoline in safe storage during hurricane season. You can use this gas to top of your gas in the car instead of waiting in long gas lines. Also make sure to keep a supply of gas for power equipment such as a chain saw. Once hurricane season is over then use up this stored gas so that it does not go bad.

2. Water will be important to have if you are stuck at home and the water goes out. My advice is to save many half gallon, gallon and plastic containers. Make sure they are clean and keep them in storage. Before the hurricane hits fill all the containers with water. You can use this water for drinking and showering. A shower can be taken with only a half gallon of water. It is called an "astronaut" shower. This is done by first wetting with a little water, soaping up, then rinsing off with the rest of the water in the container. Keep enough water to potentially last for weeks. Buy several 10 and 20 gallon containers. Have at least 20 gallon per person before the storm hits.

3. Light will be important to have since the electricity is likely to go out. Keep a large cache of candles and flashlights. Keep the batteries in there original container so that you can insure to have fresh batteries when the storm hits. Have a container of matches. Make sure all candles are lit in a safe area.

4. My advice is to clean the entire refrigerator / freezer out before you evacuate. Throw everything in there away. Most people are going to hope for the best and think they will evacuate and then come back a couple of days later to an undamaged residence with the electricity still on. However, you will have to endure an awful ordeal if all the food spoils in the refrigerator / freezer. Keep large plastic sealable bags to throw the food out and then hopefully there will be a final garage pickup before the storm hits. At least the spoiled food will be outside instead of inside if the trash is not picked up.

5. Documents will be important to have after the storm hits. My advice is to keep all important documents together and in zip lock bags. The zip lock bags prevent them from getting water damage and keeps them together in one place. Make sure you have all insurance documents, personal documents, identifications and other important documents.

6. Keep a supply of nonperishable food that requires no cooking. Make sure to have a manual can opener.

7. If you have a residence that needs to have windows boarded then keep these wood boards in supply. It can be very difficult to get these supplies once a tropical system develops. Keep extra boards in case new ones are needed.

8. Before the storm hits, freeze several plastic water bottles. Also, put the refrigerator / freezer on the coldest setting. Make sure the plastic bottles will not break when the water expands as it freezes. These ice blocks in your refrigerator and freezer will keep the temperature cool for a long period of time after the power goes out. If the storm looks like it is really going to be bad then follow the advice in #4.

9. If you are ordered to evacuate then be already fully prepared to leave. Have a plan in place of what you and your family will do if evacuation is required. Have a plan in place so that you can contact other family members in case you get separated.

10. Keep a supply of secret cash. It may become more difficult to pay for supplies if you do not have cash. The banks may run out of money and may close when it is determined the tropical system will head for your area. My advice is to already have the cash on hand instead of dealing with long bank lines and the prospects of having no money.

11. Keep your prescription drugs together in a zip lock plastic bag once you evacuate. Make sure you have documentation of every prescription drug that you need inside the plastic bag.

12. Protect your belongings in your residence from water damage. Electric equipment should be put up, unplugged and covered with plastic wrap. In case roof damage occurs, cover sensitive furniture with plastic. Water can leak through the doors and windows due to the pressure of the wind.

13. Don't buy any new property near coastal areas that can be hit by a hurricane unless you can fully recover the costs if a hurricane hits. Locations that can flood are at extreme risk.

14. Keep a battery operated radio and mini-TV. Information will be very valuable after the hurricane hits and the power is out.

15. If you are able to and you can afford it then it is a good idea to do the following: reinforce the supports that hold your roof to the home, reinforce fencing, cut down tall trees that could fall on the home, install storm shutters that can go over the front and back doors, keep a supply of generators, have a chain saw that someone knows how to use safely to cut through tree debris near the home, and have a very strong garage door.

16. If you live in a mobile home or trailer then absolutely do not ride out the storm inside it. You must evacuate since strong winds will destroy these structures first. If the storm surge has any chance of reaching your location you must evacuate well before the storm hits no matter what structure you are in.

17. If you ride out the storm, stay in an interior room (no windows) on the lowest floor (unless it is flooding) and have sturdy supports around you such as being under a desk, in a well build closet or in a well build bathroom. Do not attempt to go outside to check on things until it is obvious the storm is over. If the eye passes over, do not go outside at this point because the strongest wind of the hurricane will hit just as soon as the eye completes the pass over.

18. Take the necessary precautions to prevent fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, electrocution, traffic accidents and other accidents. Many storm deaths and injuries occur after the storm hits.

19. Besides the ones already mentioned, have the following supplies in the home or shed: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, rubbing alcohol, wet wipes, tarps, power tools, a complete tool set, extra toilet paper, and a weapon of your choice to protect the home.

20. Keep an extra supply of anything that is important to you in case it runs out.

21. Have a charcoal or gas grill. Keep extra supplies of gas and charcoal. This can be used for big cookouts once the electricity goes out and you want to cook the remaining food in the refrigerator / freezer before it goes bad.

22. Have an extra freezer in the garage. Keep ice stored in it during hurricane season. Also have large igloo coolers. Once the power goes out the ice will last a long time in the igloo. Store foods in the coolers and the extra freezer that need to say cold once the power goes out.

23. Keep trees well pruned. Limbs and trees falling on the home contribute to a significant amount of the damage. My advice is to limit the number of trees and limbs that could fall on the home.

24. Loose objects become missiles when moved by the wind. Outside items that can be tossed by the wind need to be brought inside or secured.

25. In case the plumbing goes out develop a method beforehand for disposing of waste products. Keep extra water to keep plumbing flowing.