Tropical Storm Karen could reach hurricane strength by the time it's expected to slam the Gulf Coast. Read through the following checklist compiled by CNN to make sure you're ready before the storm hits your neighborhood.
Hurricane Apps -- Download an application to your smartphone that can notify people where you are, and if you need help or are safe. The Red Cross has a Hurricane App available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. A First Aid app is also available.
Board Up -- Use hurricane shutters or board up windows and doors with 5/8-inch plywood.
Bring The Outside In -- Bring outside items like patio furniture in if they could be picked up by the wind.
Garage Doors -- Reinforce your garage doors by installing horizontal bracing onto each door panel, heavier door hinges and stronger center and end supports either with a retrofit kit from a home improvement store or through individual parts.
Refrigerator Prep -- Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.
Smash & Flood -- Put an ax in your attic in case of severe flooding.
How Much Food? -- Try to stockpile at least three days of food, with suggested items including: canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food.
How Much Water? -- Have a three-day supply of water on hand -- one gallon per person per day.
Backup Water -- Fill your bathtub with water if/when fresh water supplies become scarce.
Runnin' On Empty -- Get a full tank of gas in at least one of your cars.
Lock It Up -- Store important documents such as passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates and deeds in a watertight container.
Get Shelter Information -- Learn the location of the nearest shelter and/or the nearest pet-friendly shelter if you are evacuating and cannot bring the family dog or cat.
Learn Alternate Routes -- Go over your evacuation plan with your family, and learn alternate routes to safety.
Clear The Area -- Evacuate if ordered and stick to marked evacuation routes, if possible.
Notify Others -- Leave a note to say where you are going if you must evacuate.
Unplug -- Unplug all small appliances and electronics before you leave the house.