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H​urricane Ian is heading toward Florida’s Gulf Coast and then into the Southeast U.S., so now is the time to prepare. We understand you may have a lot of important questions.

W​e’re here to answer them.

For the latest complete forecast briefing on Ian, click here. For the latest news, including storm preparations, cancellations and evacuations, click here.

How can I store refrigerated medications during a power outage?

Some medical treatments require refrigeration and when it’s important to maintain certain cool temperatures, you need a plan if the power goes out. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for two to three hours, but if you are expecting longer periods of time without power, remove the refrigerated medications as soon as you can and place them in a cooler with ice, cooling bricks or cold packs. Make sure you don’t accidentally freeze your meds – Keep the medications from directly touching the ice.

If you rely on refrigerated insulin, keep the medication away from direct heat and sunlight. You can use insulin in opened or unopened vials for up to four weeks at room temperature (between 59 and 86 degrees).

Will I need a mask or other COVID-19 requirements at the public shelters?

It’s important to be prepared to wear a mask in public shelters, as workers or volunteers may recommend wearing face coverings during your stay. Pack enough clean masks for each person in your household.

Stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control suggest this because if you are sheltering with others, it’s less likely you’d need medical assistance while hospitals are under the strain of the natural disaster.

Can I take my pets with me to the public shelters?

This answer will vary by location so you should be aware that not all public shelters accept pets. When a shelter does allow pets, you may have to register the animal in advance for the specific shelter. Also, a pet shelter might also separate the animals from their families, so be aware of those logistics.

Officials recommend a disaster supply kit for pets that includes, among other things, proper identification and immunization records, food and water, medications and plastic bags to handle waste.

NEW BERN, NC - SEPTEMBER 14:  Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina. Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm and flooding from the heavy rain is forcing hundreds of people to call for emergency rescues in the area around New Bern, North Carolina, which sits at the confluence of the Nuese and Trent rivers.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence, Sept. 14, 2018, in New Bern, North Carolina.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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