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By using these important tips, you can protect your family and your home from any potential devastation:

1.  Keep a well-stocked first aid kit. You never know what can happen during a severe storm, so one of the most important things that you should keep well-stocked is a first aid kit. Ensure that you have at least the following items: prescription medication, bandages, pain relievers, antiseptic, tweezers, and scissors.

2.  Clean your gutters. Although most of the leaves haven’t started falling yet, gutters full of debris will allow water to pool around your home’s foundation and roof, which can lead to leaks and/or floods.

3.  Prepare for power outages. Along with owning a backup generator, flashlights, and a battery- or solar-powered cell phone charger, you should also keep a battery-operated radio handy. In addition, you should make sure that you keep a list of emergency contacts somewhere accessible.

4.  Create an evacuation plan. Between the Weather Channel, Twitter, and other alert systems, you should be comfortably aware of any severe weather warnings. Also make sure that – in the event of tornados, or floods – you have a safe place to take shelter.

5.  Fill up your bathtubs with water. In case something goes wrong, you will have a fresh supply of clean water to drink or use for bathing and flushing the toilets.

6.  Reinforce your windows. If your area has been warned of an impending tornado, you should reinforce your windows with wooden boards so that – even if the glass is broken – your home will remain relatively dry and undisturbed.

7.  Inspect your trees and shrubbery. By hiring an ISA Certified Arborist to trim your trees and shrubs, you can prevent substantial damage. Also make sure to remove tall shrubs from around your outside HVAC equipment, so that it will not be damaged.

8.  Store water and non-perishable foods. If you live in an area prone to power outages, you should consider storing bottled water and non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, energy bars, and peanut butter, in a safe and dry place.

9.  Secure outdoor furniture. When a tornado, or severe storm hits, any lightweight item that is not bolted down can become a projectile. If you can’t secure smaller items, take them inside.

10.  Stock up on fun activities. During a severe storm, it can be hard to stay calm, especially after the power has gone out. To keep you – and your children – distracted, ensure that you have something fun to do.

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