Hurricane Dorian bears down: Tips to keep in mind if you're evacuating

Darwin Brandis/iStock(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Dorian is taking aim at Florida where it may hit as a powerful Category 3 storm over Labor Day weekend.

The storm is forecast to make landfall on Florida’s East Coast, between Cape Canaveral and West Palm Beach, on Monday morning.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for counties in Dorian’s path as residents scramble to prepare.

“All Floridians should have a plan in place,” the governor tweeted Thursday. “Don’t wait until it is too late.”

For those evacuating, here are some tips to keep in mind, according to the Department of Homeland Security:

— Identify several places you could go, like a friend’s home or a motel. Pick places in different directions so you have options.

— If you have pets, remember that most public shelters allow only service animals.

— The FEMA app has a list of open shelters.

— Unplug electronics like TVs and small appliances.

— Take an emergency kit with you that includes water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, extra batteries and important family documents.

— Follow recommended evacuation routes and don’t take shortcuts.

— Come up with a family re-unification plan in case you are separated.

— Stay in contact with local officials.

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