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Be prepared: What to do before, during and after a hurricane

Whether you're new to the Sunshine State or are Florida-born, it's important to know what to do if a storm is heading your way.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hurricane season: Something everyone in Florida prepares for. 

Whether you're new to the Sunshine State or are Florida-born, it's important to know what to do if a storm is heading your way.

This is a breakdown of what you should do before the storm hits, when it hits and after it hits. 

First 24 hours before a storm

  • Identify your safe room. Clear it out except for the essentials. That’s where you’re riding this thing out. The fewer windows, the better.
  • Crank down the refrigerator to the coldest temperature. It will help preserve food longer if the power only goes out temporarily.
  • You’ll need water. Fill bathtubs and sinks. You will need enough to flush the toilet.
  • Charge your cellphone. Put your pets on a leash, and in their cage.
  • Gather your important documents in a stormproof container

During a storm 

  • Don’t go outside even if you think it’s over, it could just be the eye of the storm.
  • Don’t mess around with the floodwaters. It may look like it’s not a big deal, but it only takes six to 12 inches to take you down or flood your car.
  • If you need evacuation help, put a white sheet on your door or roof so officials know. Be patient, they might not be able to get to you yet.

First 24 hours after a storm

  • Take pictures of any damage.
  • Clean up as soon as possible to avoid mold. Wear protective clothing.
  • Don’t make unnecessary calls. Save your cell battery and text when possible.
  • When you have time, replenish your readiness kits and prepare for the next one.

You can find more resources and updates on our 10 Tampa Bay Hurricane Headquarters. You can also get alerts sent straight to your mobile device when you download the free 10 Tampa Bay app.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. 

RELATED: Evacuation zones and storm surge maps for the Tampa Bay area

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