Despite all the warnings, a lot of folks wait until the last minute to get ready for hurricanes.
What about you?
What would you do if you had just 10 minutes to get out?
Here are the experiences of two families. Same drill, but with one difference.
A Tale of Two Families
Erica and Jason Bissch had talked about and practiced for an evacuation.
Alex and Steve gorman, like most American families, had not.
The Bissch family divided up their responsibilities.
Jason Bissch packed personal files and grabbed a pre-packed box of financial records and photo albums.
Erica Bissch took family medicines, comfort items and was ready to load suitcases in the car.
But it was a different scene at the Gorman home.
After 10 minutes, the Gormans admitted their disaster evacuation drill was a disaster.
"We were a calamity," Alex Gorman said. "We were not prepared for anything like that. I kept worrying about the photo albums."
But the Bissch family came in under 10 minutes and packed what they needed.
Insurance experts say unprepared families are more likely to leave important paperwork behind. and that can end up costing you.
"You may think that you'll never have to evacuate your home. But wherever you live, you do have to plan for it," said Candysse Miller of the Insurance Information Network of California.
What You'll Need in Case of Disaster
In order to recover from a disaster, here's what you'll need:
A home inventory
Your insurance policy
Your will, deeds and tax returns
Stocks and bonds
Birth and marriage certificates
By planning ahead, you can reduce stress during an emergency, and avoid a financial disaster as well.
*Originally aired on May 24, 2008.