We are officially in the peak of hurricane season, which stretches from mid-August to mid-October. With tropical storms like our friend Dorian hanging out in the Atlantic, it’s a good idea to start prepping now just in case. Preparing for a storm while it’s on its way just adds a layer of drama to an already stressful situation. Plus, running from store to store will leave you no time to plan your hurricane party.

Here is what you can do to prepare for the possible (probable) hurricane of 2019:

Gather supplies 
Do you know where to get a battery-powered radio on short notice? Don’t wait until it’s an emergency and the shelves are empty. Pick up a radio and non-perishable items like water, medicine, shelf-stable and canned food, flashlights, and batteries before there’s a line. If that’s not enough, the National Weather Service has a detailed checklist for hurricane preparedness.

Declutter outdoor spaces
Your porch looks amazing with all of those hanging plants and chic furniture. A hurricane, on the other hand, does not care that you didn’t have time to clean it all up before you evacuated. Keep your outdoor spaces organized and be prepared to take items indoors in the wake of a storm. [content-1] Do some yard work
Cleaning out your gutters and cutting limbs from trees are great ways to minimize damage from a storm. Take a look around your property to be aware of the hazards your house may face during strong winds and heavy rain.

Take care of your pets
If your pet does not have a microchip, get one in case they go missing. If your pet is microchipped, check to make sure the information is up to date. For a furry friend that gets scared during storms, consult your vet about medication to keep them calm.  [content-3] Find important documents
Keeping your birth certificate, passport, and other important documents in one place will make them easier to grab in case of an emergency. For extra grab-and-go efficiency, keep them all in the same folder or binder.

Gather sentimental items
Losing family photos or old love letters to a storm can be devastating. Get eyes on your most prized possessions and decide what will go with you and what will stay in case of an evacuation.

Have cash on hand
When the power goes out, so do the credit card machines. Having a little bit of emergency cash stowed away can help give you peace of mind when the storm approaches and the ATMs go dry.

Communicate with friends and family
Talk to your family about what you all will do in an emergency situation. If you live with roommates, talk to them about their plans. If you live alone, find a hurricane buddy. Nobody wants to deal with a hurricane alone so make sure you have someone to help you get through it.

Make a plan
Your “hurrication” will be ruined if you are scrambling during an evacuation. Think now about where you will go and who you will stay with.

With hurricanes becoming more routine, climate change is only going to make them stronger and more frequent. So, as you perform your hurricane season prep, take some time to think about how you can combat climate change and protect Charleston for future generations.  [content-1]