Hurricane Florence continues to grow in size and strength as it barrels toward the U.S. East Coast.
The National Hurricane Center said Monday the monster storm continues to intensify and will be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday.
A Category 5 storm has the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
North Carolina residents have already been buying up water and emergency supplies. But people should also consider getting their homes ready for the storm.
Ready.gov is one site emergency management officials say has useful tips on getting your home ready for Florence.
According to that website, you should:
- Bring in patio furniture, garbage cans and other loose objects so that they don't become projectiles.
- Anchor down propane tanks
- Trim or remove trees that pose a threat
- Board up windows
- Prepare an emergency kit
NOAA also recommends that you:
- Have backflow valves installed in your plumbing's sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home
- Make a list of items to bring inside (i.e. patio furniture)
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters
- Seal walls and openings in basement
- Take photos for insurance purposes
Just know that getting together those kits may be a challenge because stores are short on essential items like flashlights and batteries.
You may have to call ahead or visit the store early to see if they have what you need in stock.