Are you ready for a hurricane? The tips you need to know

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Why You Should Always Prepare for a Hurricane

Forecasters are predicting a quiet Atlantic hurricane season this year. But, when a hurricane hits, it can be devastating. A look back at Katrina shows us that.

More than 1,800 people were killed when the storm slammed ashore on August 29, 2005. The storm flooded most of New Orleans and wreaked havoc along parts of the Gulf Coast.
Experts agree the key is being prepared, but not everyone knows exactly which conditions to prepare for.

One of the biggest things people overlook when it comes to preparing for a hurricane is storm surge, according to Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari, which often brings floods when the storm pushes ocean water ashore.

SEE MORE: Special coverage on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

A 10-foot storm surge is enough to cover up a house, and surges can reach as high as 30 feet, and go as far as 30 miles inland. Sarsalari says the best way to protect yourself is to take evacuations seriously and get inland before the storm hits.

See how New Orleans prepared for Katrina:
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Katrina 10 year: Leading up to the storm
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Are you ready for a hurricane? The tips you need to know
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 27: Workers board up the storefront of VooDoo Mart in the French Quarter in preparation for Hurricane Katrina August 27, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 115 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 27: People wait in line while attempting to rent a car at New Orleans International Airport in preparation for Hurricane Katrina August 27, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 115 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 27: Workers board up the storefront of VooDoo Mart in the French Quarter in preparation for Hurricane Katrina August 27, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 115 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Mark Kennedy covers an antique streetlamp with a tarp in the French Quarter in preparation for Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of over 115 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 28: Workers at Beauvoir, the Biloxi historical home where Jefferson Davis spent the last years of his life, prepare for Hurricane Katrina to make landfall August 28, 2005 in Biloxi, Mississippi. A mandatory evacuation order went into effect this morning when Hurricane Katrina became a Category 5 storm. Katrina has sustained winds of over 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Marianne Todd/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: In this handout photo provided by the White House, U.S. President George W. Bush (foreground) takes a map from Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin during a video teleconference with federal and state emergency management organizations on Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The storm is expected to make landfall in Louisiana in the morning of August 29. (Photo by Paul Morse/The White House via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Residents wait in line to enter the Superdome which is being used as an emergency shelter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: A group of people have their picture taken on Bourbon Street August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Dajonay Redett, 3, sleeps as her family waits in line to enter the Superdome which is being used as an emergency shelter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Linda Lemon stands outside the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street where she is a cook and will stay at work while the hurricaine passes August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Residents wait in line to enter the Superdome which is being used as an emergency shelter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: People who are not are not planning to evacuate from incoming Hurricane Katrina stand on a balcony over a local pub on Bourbon Street August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Roy Marigny (L) wipes his forehead in the heat while waiting for the New Orleans Superdome to open as an emergency shelter ahead of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The storm is expected to make landfall in the morning of August 29. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: A member of the Louisiana National Guard gathers residents as they wait for the New Orleans Superdome to open as an emergency shelter ahead of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The storm is expected to make landfall in the morning of August 29. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Many people have decided not to evacuate and fill Bourbon Street in spite of the mandatory evacuation ordered by the Governor August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Hurricane specials are displayed on a boarded-up French Quarter bar ahead of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The storm is expected to make landfall in the morning of August 29. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: New Orleans residents sit in the Superdome, which is being used as an emergency shelter, before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28: Homeless man Joseph Barnes stands in the nearly deserted French Quarter with his cat Patches before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Barnes says he was not allowed inside the Superdome shelter with Patches because pets were not allowed and was unsure where he would spend the night. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of over 115 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. Katrina killed at least seven when it moved through Miami-Dade County in Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 28: Anthony Decquin (R) and his stepson Elisha Smith spend a last few minutes playing in Lake Pontchartrain before Hurricane Katrina comes through the area Monday morning on August 28, 2005 in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 175 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast as early as August 29. A state of emergency has been declared for Louisiana as the Category 5 storm approaches. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
New Orleans, UNITED STATES: Matthew Gryzlo (L) of New York, Robin Raxlin (2nd -L) from Toronto, Canada , Anna Skrip (2nd-R) from Toronto and Rich Prisco (R) from New York wait out hurricane Katrina in lounge area of the W Hotel In New Orleans, Louisiana after their airline flights were cancelled 28 August 2005. Hurricane Katrina is expected to make landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana early 29 August, 2005. AFP / james NIELSEN (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 28: Ken Falk at the National Weather Service office in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Sunday morning August 28, 2005, tracks Hurricane Katrina as it approaches New Orleans, Louisiana. Falk looks at the future direction of the category 5 hurricane as it approaches land. Falk, the Operations Officer at the Northern Louisiana center, is one of three busy meteorologists watching the progress of the powerful storm. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 28: A tired and worried evacuee from New Orleans, Samella Rawles calls her husband, who stayed behind in the Crescent City, after Samella and other Rawles family members left to escape Hurricane Katrina on Sunday morning August 28, 2005. The Rawles refueled in the Northern Louisiana city of Shreveport, after driving almost 10 hours to avoid Katrina. The New Orleans family plans to stay in Dallas, Texas with relatives. Thousands of southeastern Louisiana residents also packed their vehicles to drive north to escape the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 28: Ronnie Hecker, evacuated from New Orleans, in the very early hours of Sunday morning, August 28, 2005, with his wife Lisa and two dogs attempting to escape the approaching Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Hecker looks for the best way to get to El Dorado, Arkansas, during a stop in Shreveport, Louisiana, after driving some 10 hours to the northern Louisiana city. The couple could not find a hotel room within the Bayou State. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Heavy traffic heading west to escape the oncoming Hurricane Katrina on Interstate 10 near Lafayette, Louisiana 28 August 2005. Authorities Sunday ordered the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans as the low-lying US city braced for what could be a direct and devastating hit from Hurricane Katrina. 'I do not want to create panic. But I do want the citizens to understand that this is very serious and it's of the highest nature. And that's why we take this unprecedented move,' said New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, announcing the evacuation order. Hurricane Katrina, which packed winds of 250 kilometers (160 miles) per hour, was forecast to slam ashore near the flood-prone city early Monday. AFP / james NIELSEN (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
New Orleans, UNITED STATES: David Ryckaert (R) and his wife Nathalie from Brussels, Belgium, check their email on a laptop computer in the hallway of the Best Western hotel in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana 29 August 2005. The hotel has emergency generators to power lights in the halls and stairwells. Katrina has been downgraded to a Category Three storm according to the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center.The storm's winds, which had risen 28 August to a sustained level of 280 kilometers (176 miles per hour), slowed to 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles) as it made landfall in southern Louisiana late Monday morning. AFP PHOTO/James NIELSEN (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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FEMA offers tips for prepping your home both before and during the hurricane.
  • Keep a kit with food, water and other supplies with enough to last for at least 72 hours.
  • Check to see if your land is flood-prone or near a levee or river. You can visit this website to find out if your area is in danger.
  • Secure your property by covering all of your home's windows with wood. Tape will not stop glass from breaking.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are trimmed so they are not uprooted as easily in high winds.
  • Consider building a safe room or having a designated room away from windows.
  • If you live in a high rise, go to a lower floor than won't be affected by wind.
In addition to protecting homes, families should be aware of the unique challenges of evacuating with a pet. According to the ASPCA, approximately 250,000 dogs and cats were displaced or died as a result of Katrina.

Dr. Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team, helped care for thousands of animals left behind in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, and he suggests pet owners take the following precautions to keep their animals safe:
  • Microchip pets. Only about 28 percent of dog owners and 24 percent of cat owners say their animals are micro-chipped.
  • Do not leave them behind. Find out where the nearest hotels are that accept animals or ask friends or families outside of the immediate area if they are willing to house them.
  • Assign a designated caregiver for your pet who has a set of keys in case you are not home to save them.
  • Prep a crate and keep it close to a door. Crate should contain food, water, medications, laminated vet, an external light on the top and more. For full details on what should be in the emergency kit, visit ASPCA's website.
  • The ASPCA also provides a free mobile app that tells pet owners what to do before, during and after a disaster.

Check out and share these other important tips for prepping your pets for a disaster from the ASPCA:



For more 10th anniversary Hurricane Katrina coverage, click here.​

More Katrina coverage on AOL.com: Facts about the impact of Hurricane Katrina:
Gulf eats away at coast outside New Orleans During the last century, hurricanes have flooded New Orleans 6 times
'New' New Orleans leaves many behind 112,000 in New Orleans did not have access to a car to evacuate
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