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6 ways to prepare for Hurricane Matthew

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Eight out of 10 Virginians are not prepared should a hurricane strike the Commonwealth, according to AAA Mid Atlantic. With Hurricane Matthew headed toward the U.S. Coast, AAA offered these severe storm/ hurricane preparation tips:

Make a Plan – Develop a Family Emergency Plan to include ways to contact each other, alternative meeting locations, and an out-of-town contact person. Identify a safe room or safest areas in your home. Research your evacuation route. Be sure and include plans for your pets.

Secure Your Home – Inspect your home for minor repairs needed to the roof, windows, down spouts, etc. Trim trees or bushes that could cause damage to your home in case of high winds.

Take Inventory – Update your home inventory by walking through your home with a video camera or smart phone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, date purchased and model and serial numbers as available.

Stock Emergency Supplies – Plan for a week's worth of non-perishable food and water. Be sure to have flashlights, extra batteries, battery-powered radio, medications, first aid kit, blankets, toiletries, diapers, etc. You may also want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car should you evacuate.

Check Your Vehicle -- Make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas, properly inflated tires and ensure your wiper blades are not leaving streaks. Have your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic to determine if the brakes, fluid levels, air conditioning and belts are in good working condition.

Protect Your Property – Review your homeowner’s insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection. Discuss your deductibles. Be aware that flood insurance in not typically covered under your homeowner’s policy. Flooding to your automobile is available under the Physical Damage coverage.