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      Being Homesmart During a Hurricane

      With the onslaught of historic Hurricane Sandy set to make waves today, preparations should already have been done, and you're comfortably settled in at home waiting the weather out. But even then, being homesmart is essential to make sure that the impact of the storm is minimal to you and your possessions. And with record-high winds and torrential rains, here's a list of practical things you can do to be homesmart and safe during, as well as after a hurricane hits your home.

      Monitor the weather with caution While it is smart to check-in so often on weather information services like weather.com, weather channel, and local news, be cautious not to over-panic and cause yourself unnecessary worry. The most important thing you have on your side during times of distress is a levelheaded mind.

      Have an ample supply of consumables Having enough food and potable water is one thing, but diligently going through them could be challenging. Keep in mind that weather forecasts only take into consideration the duration and impact of the actual weather system, but you need to be prepared to deal with the fallout, so keeping yourself as self-sufficient two or even three days after is always a good idea. Additionally, if you have multiple persons in your households, it is recommended that a liter of water per day per person should be stored up.

      Charge all those devices If you have multiple portable electronic devices, charge all of them. Use each device diligently as well, and keep a spare source of electricity. If you have a laptop, keep it plugged in the whole time - this can be the power source for your other devices when electricity shuts off.

      Do your laundry We often take power for granted and think of it as being readily available. But in a hurricane situation, wind gusts will most likely tear down trees and powerlines, keeping you in the dark for the duration and, in severe cases, days after impact. So do everything that you can do before you reach this point - including laundry. Put everything you can in the wash, so you'll be fully prepared to be up and out to work again once the waters have receded.

      Fill up your tub Water pumps, just like any other mechanical device, is powered by electricity. When power lines are down, so are the stations that keep our pipes running. Not having enough potable water could easily be addressed by cases of bottled water, but plumbing should be your primary concern. If you have a tub in your bathroom, it would be wise to fill it up and use that water for plumbing and secondary needs. If you can, avoid using this for washing dishes, since paper plates are good substitutes to lessen the need for wash water.

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